Many folks know Joel Salatin for his progressive farming practices and stances on food, he is a fantastic speaker and was recently invited to speak at Google where he talked about how the way we produce food today is not how humanity has eaten for the vast majority of our existence.
This past weekend I had the privilege of meeting Will Allen of Growing Power. Those of you who aren’t familiar with him, he has been growing food on a 3 acre parcel of land he grows 100,000 talapia, $300,000 of produce, has 500 laying hens and a dozen goats. He came to North Carolina to do a hands on workshop where we erected a 48′ long hoop house and built an aquaponics system.
Here is a video and below will be some photos from the weekend:
Recently I have been looking into aquaponics to start growing talapia in the planning phase of a larger urban agriculture project I am working on. I found this great video tour of an automated system that is setup in a tiny greenhouse. I found it interesting and thought I’d share.
Many of you who have been around a while remember I am into gardening, things are ramping up, so will the garden posts. So this year I am a bit later than I’d like, but I have been busy, so oh well. Last night I set my seeds in the pots, got my setup running and here it is. First off here is what you need. Starting mix is preferable, so pots, and seeds. Depending on how far you want to go you can get a heating mat, lights, thermostat control, etc.
Next I filled my pots with the potting soil (I should note that I pre-moistened the soil before I put them in the pots) and got them into them into my tray
Next I put in the seeds. I put 3-4 seeds per pot because each seed isn’t guaranteed to come up, it will also let me choose the strongest plant and focus on that one. I will later “thin” with a pair of fine scissors. I then take soil and gently cover the seeds; in this case 3 variety of heirloom tomatoes and a variety of cukes ideal for pickling. The packets often tell you how deep to bury the seeds, but a rule of them is 3 times the length of the seed, so a tomato seed is very shallow, a cuke is slightly deeper.
Next up is to move the tray to my setup. Here I have my grow lights above, a plastic cover to keep the moisture in, below -it is hard to see – there is a heating pad and a piece of foam. The cable sneeking in from the right is temperature probe that goes into the dirt to measure soil temp. I have another thermometer to verify the temp and moisture. Note: the temperature is too low as shown here, I just turned the whole thing on.
Here is the thermostat control, it will turn the heating pad on and off as needed, I set this to 80 F for proper germination to occur. This unit is where the probe goes to.
Here is the heating mat
Found this neat rooftop garden, I am not really feeling the art, but the curves are pretty neat. I can imagine laying on the backs of the windows almost like a lounge chair on a spring day, taking a nap.