Farm Update | All about the Strawberries | Festival | Florida Radiance | Camarosa | Fish Tank Heaters | Harvest Baskets

VertiGro installation is nearing the end as all the drip irrigation was added. Next come the misters for heating and the hoop house structure.

Vertigro Drip Installation

Vertigro Drip Installation

Drip Installation

Drip Installation

Vertigro Drip Install

Vertigro Drip Install

 

Radiance Strawberries

Florida Radiance Strawberries

Festival Strawberry

Festival Strawberry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Strawberries are loving the cooler weather.

All 560 strawberry plants seem to have taken. Planted 3 varieties – Camarosa, Festival and Florida Radiance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The tilapia are happy again. We had to add fish tank heaters and heavy exterior tank insulation this week as the water temps started dropping after two nights in a row in the 40s and a day in between with little or no sunshine to warm ambient air up past 58F. They enjoyed the brief sunshine during the day once we hit the 70s again, but will be covered and wrapped each night below 50F.

Red Nile Tilapia with Heater

Red Nile Tilapia with Heater

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 Farmer’s Market at Pelican Preserve was a bit chilly this week, but there were the faithful who braved the cold for their healthy produce.

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These are our two Organic Harvest Baskets for this week.  The one on the left is a $25 Organic Harvest Basket, which includes 2 lettuces, corn, green beans, rainbow carrots, apples, shallots, potatoes, radish and a choice of cranberries, pie pumpkin or roma tomatoes.  The one on the right is a $20 Organic Harvest Basket, which includes 2 lettuces, corn, green beans, rainbow carrots, apples, shallots, and potatoes. To sign up for the Buying Club, click here and to buy either one click here.

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Farm Update | Prepping Strawberries for Planting | Installing VertiGro Towers | DIY Compost Bin

Rolling Fish Tanks

Rolling Fish Tanks

Our quest for strawberries started with rolling the fish tanks through the greenhouse to the planned fish house area.

 

 

 

 

Those really are not crop circles, just where the fish tanks were previously stored.

Strawberry Field

Strawberry Field

Vertigro stakes

Vertigro stakes

 

Next was putting in the stakes for the posts

 

 

 

 

This is what happens when Farmer Tim is left alone too long - selfies :)

This is what happens when Farmer Tim is left alone too long – selfies 🙂 or maybe it was all the math from laying out the stakes and posts!!

Vertigro Posts

Vertigro Posts

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prepping Strawberries

Prepping Strawberries

Lots of Vertigro Pots

Vertigro Posts

Vertigro Posts

The strawberries arrived dormant and refrigerated

 

 

 

 

 

Vertigro in the Rain

Vertigro in the Rain

Strawberry Planting station

Strawberry Planting station

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vertigro Post install

Vertigro Post install

Strawberry Planting

Strawberry Planting

 

 

 

 

 

 

Planting progress

Planting progress


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Planted 180 Camarosa strawberries and 143 Florida Radiance.


DIY Composting Bins made from ordinary pallets. We simply screwed three pallets together to make the sides and back. For the front we added a couple planks to the side of the pallets to create a stacking front wall that can be raised or lowered as you go to make adding materials (and later removing compost) easier. This is a hot compost bin and will be added to for an entire year, then allowed to sit for one year and used for plantings the year after that.

DIY Pallet Compost Bin

DIY Pallet Compost Bin

We also built a bin to hold hay and/or our brown matter to make our lives easier.

Hay Bin for Composting

Hay Bin for Composting

Composting

Composting

Farm Update | Farmers Market | VertiGro Class | Honey and the Bees

 

Farmers Market at Pelican Preserve

Farmers Market at Pelican Preserve

 


 Vertigro Class

Vertigro Class (Tim and Tim)

 

 Vertigro Class

Vertigro Class

Vertigro Class

 

 

 

Vertigro Class

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Honey and the Unhappy Bees

Our hives were getting honey bound, so we pulled a couple frames of honey today. Leaving the hives a bit unhappy and confused. Lucky for us, they gladly make more.

Full Frame of Honey

Full Frame of Honey

 

Unhappy Bees

Unhappy Bees

Unhappy Bees

Unhappy Bees

Farm Update | Endwalls with Lower Purlins | Pickling | 12 Seasons Farm Tour | Laying Hens

Endwalls and Purlins Done

Endwalls and Purlins Done

Endwalls and Purlins Done

Endwalls and Purlins Done

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Pickled Shallots, Jalapeños and Cucumbers

Pickled Shallots, Jalapeños and Cucumbers


 

12 Seasons Farm

12 Seasons Farm

We visited Danny and his family at 12 Seasons Farm in Olga. They are a very giving family in spirit and knowledge. We purchased some strawberry plants from them, shared lunch and helped plant a few of their strawberries at their planting party.


Rhode Island Red Laying

Rhode Island Red Laying

Americauna Laying

Americauna Laying

Farm Update | Fresh Eggs | Fish Tank Cleaning Day

Farm Fresh Eggs

GreenView Aquaponics  Farm Fresh Eggs               in green, blue and brown


 

African Nightcrawler Worms

African Nightcrawler Worms crawled up during transplanting the peppers.


 

Blue Tilapia Tank Cleaning Day

Blue Tilapia on Fish Tank Cleaning Day or as we affectionately call it Maintenance Monday

 

Red Tilapia

Red Tilapia on Fish Tank Cleaning Day

Farm Update | Last Endwall | Farm Fresh Eggs | Drying Basil

Last Endwall

Last Endwall, now comes the upper and lower purlins


 

GreenView Aquaponics Farm Fresh Eggs

GreenView Aquaponics Farm Fresh Eggs in blue, green and brown

Lots of Eggs

Lots of Eggs, looks like the Rhode Island Reds all laid in the same nest box this morning.


 

Drying Basil

Drying Basil

Drying Basil

Drying Basil

Farm Update | Organic Beekeeping | Endwalls | Paraglider

 

IPM Organic Beekeeping

IPM Organic Beekeeping

Organic Beekeeping is using natural and organic practices without the synthetic chemicals as feed and pesticides. Above Tim is using integrated pest management by adding a mixture of apple cider vinegar, vegetable oil and a drop of dish soap to control the hive beetles from becoming a nuisance to the bees in the hive. Although it is marketed as such, there is no such thing as organic honey because the bees can forage for pollen and nectar up to 3 miles away, which may or may not be organic. So if you see it on a honey jar, be aware it’s either ignorance or a marketing ploy. Know your local beekeeper, talk to them and find out what they use (and more importantly don’t use) to keep their bee colonies healthy and strong, in particular during honey flows. 


 

17 foot ladder was needed to get to the top of the center posts for 6’2″ Farmer Tim for installing the endwalls to the structure.

 

Endwalls

Endwalls

 

Paraglider

Paraglider

2nd Endwall done

2nd Endwall done

GreenView Aquaponics Double Rainbow

GreenView Aquaponics Double Rainbow

Farm Update | Day in the life of a farmer

Check on the honey bees. Rained the past three days. They are VERY happy it is sunny again.

Check on the honey bees. Rained the past three days. They are VERY happy it is sunny again as they try to dry out their hives.

Harvest celery and three kinds of basil

Harvest Celery and three kinds of Basil – genovese, citrus and dark opal – lots and lots! May have to dry some for the upcoming markets.

Plant more lettuce to start the fall rotations. Just waiting for the cooler weather!

Plant four kinds of lettuce and some other heirlooms to start the fall rotations. Just waiting for the cooler weather!

 


 

Feed and water the chickens, then collect the eggs. Beautiful!

Feed & water the chickens, then collect eggs.  What beautiful colors – brown, blue, and green eggs!

 


 

Feed the hungry blue nile tilapia

Feed the hungry blue nile tilapia and check the water by testing it’s parameters.

Feed the hungry red nile tilapia

Feed the red nile tilapia, check the water flow rate and time the auto siphon.

 


 

Watch the Black Soldier Fly lay her eggs for the next explosion of larvae in the biocomposter

Watch the Black Soldier Fly lay her eggs for the next explosion of larvae in the biocomposter

Aquaponics Association Conference | San Jose CA

It was a fabulous weekend in San Jose, CA, where all the great minds of aquaponics met for the Aquaponics Association’s 4th Annual Conference.  Never before have so many of the leaders and innovators been in one place!

Aquaponics Assoc Conference

Glenn Martinez of Olomana Gardens in Hawaii, Astrid, Murray Hallam of Practical Aquaponics in Australia (Left to Right)

Glenn Martinez is known for his innovations utilizing air lift pumps and alternative energy. He sets up systems worldwide.

Murray Hallam is a favorite on YouTube with his great beginner videos for aquaponic enthusiasts. Murray does projects all over the world.

Dr Nick Savidov  is a senior research scientist in aquaponics in Alberta Canada. Currently, with Alberta Agriculture & Rural Dev, he was instrumental in developing the Canada GAPs for aquaponics. Dr Savidov has also done significant research with biochar.

Charlie Shultz  is a world expert on aquaponics training and research currently at Lethbridge College and worked along side the father of aquaponics, Dr James Rakocy, for many years at UVI.

Max Meyers is a leading permaculture and aquaponic consultant in California.


 

Jon Parr of SchoolGrown in Half Moon Bay, CA

Jon Parr of SchoolGrown in Half Moon Bay, CA

Jon Parr recently designed and operated a commercial aquaponics farm that produced over 6,000 heads of lettuce a day. He left there to pursue his passion, SchoolGrown, a non-profit dedicated to promoting sustainable agriculture through advocacy, education, research, and service by placing learning lab greenhouses in neighborhood schools.

Jon Parr of SchoolGrown in Half Moon Bay, CA

Jon Parr of SchoolGrown in Half Moon Bay, CA

The SchoolGrown L.E.A.F. greenhouse lab is constructed of a high-performance, sustainable, water-savvy greenhouse on school property that can provide healthy organic food to student families every day of the year! The spacious greenhouse is home to an aquaponic garden, complete with fish tanks, solar power, soilless planter beds, and climate control. Additionally, it provides 50-70 family-sized boxes of fruits and vegetables every week. The environment provides a project-based learning platform for teachers in many subjects, including: biology, chemistry, math, ecology, agriculture, business, and language arts. Lesson plans correlate to the new Common Core as well as the Next Generation Science standards, and STEM education. Additionally, SchoolGrown provides a vertical-market business plan that sells the produce grown in the greenhouse, thereby providing a revenue stream that could contribute to the school. This allows SchoolGrown to include a person with each L.E.A.F lab, and keep the program running.


Ken Armstrong and his team lead the way at Ourobouros Farm in live lettuce production. Thoroughly enjoyed their farm tour.

Ouroboros Aquaponics in Half Moon Bay, CA

Ouroboros Aquaponics                     in Half Moon Bay, CA

Ouroboros Aquaponics in Half Moon Bay, CA

Ouroboros Aquaponics                     in Half Moon Bay, CA

Farm Update | First Tilapia Fry and Chicken Antics

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The first blue nile tilapia fry and it’s really, really hard to see…basically all you can see even at full zoom is the eyes.

The holes in the basket are smaller than my little finger to give an idea of scale and the fry is in the middle of each pic at the bottom of the hole in the basket.IMG_5584

 


Chicken antics in the nest boxes.

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Look out here I come!

 

 

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Close the door, there’s a draft in here!

 

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