We Will Grow On You!

Alberta Aquaponics - We Will Grow On You!

So That Year Was A Wasn’t That Was In A Big Way!

Alright, I admit it, this year has been a crap load of work and it took all year to get to where we are..

But where are we?

Well, lets go over some stuff.

The front yard has been completely redone. Grass out, Trees out, Rock in, Fruit Trees in and a new growbed ready for next years creation. Add to that the solar powered water capture aeration and watering system to round things off.

Yes, that took some time, effort and money. It also stalled us out on the back yard a little bit.

But now the back yard.

We have the new greenhouse up and wrapped.

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For this year we are going to stick with the plastic wrap and look at the insulated panels and 3 ply poly-carbonate for the walls and roof for next year.

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The new build, although only 30 inches larger on two sides offers up an incredible 4 times the growing space over the last greenhouse.

It did not take long to start putting in grow beds and start sorting out where everything is going to go for the next grow season.

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We still need to do some rebuilding on the fish tank covers and redo a bunch of plumbing as well as create a couple of swirl filters, but everything is starting to come together in a big way.

For the immediate projects, I still have the door to complete (I ran out of material to complete the build) but I have hopes that will be done by tomorrow afternoon. At that point I will call the greenhouse build completed until spring when it will be the green house implementation that will take over!

Be prepared that will be a show and a half if I have anything to say about it!

So on to other new stuff.

Not aquaponics, but again lifestyle related, we have gotten ourselves a new vehicle. This is not just any vehicle however, we purchased an Electric Vehicle in the form of a 2016 Nissan Leaf SL.

2016 Nissan Leaf
The 170 KM range per charge means that Donna can go back and forth to work all week on a single charge and 100% emission free.

This car combined with the solar we have on the garage means we can run the vehicle for virtually nothing but even if we had no solar on the roof of the garage, the vehicle would cost us around $1.34 per 100 KM including tire wear.

We have said goodbye to gas stations, green house gas pollution, noise pollution (the thing is honestly silent), expensive gas, oil changes, tune ups and expensive mechanics all in one shot.

We were a little worried about the transition at first but are now 100% sold on the fact that electric vehicles are the wave of the future and work for 87% of all vehicle owners.

So, where are we?

The front yard is lower maintenance and more environmentally friendly and offering up more spaces for growing food.
The Greenhouse is very close to being completed and ready for implementation for next year with a lot more room for growing and teaching.
The new electric vehicle has us on a road of even greener futures and ties into our closed loop lifestyle.

Overall, I would say we are in a great place!

News and event updates!!
news flash

For those interested in electric vehicles, this week is National Drive Electric week. There are events being put on in both Calgary and Edmonton where you can check out electric vehicles, go for a ride and meet some very cool people.

Calgary’s is being held on Saturday September 17, 21016 at 10:00 am – 4:00 pm at the Ikea Parking lot in Deerfoot Meadows.

Facebook event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/201601196920833/

Edmonton has their event on Sunday September 18, 2016 at 12:00pm  – 4:00pm at the Rock-N-Wash 4803 55 Ave NW.

Facebook event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1197962170255953/

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Another meeting of the crazy people doing crazy stuff in the back yard! Hope to see you at the face to face meet up!

For those wanting to talk Aquaponics, we have our Face to Face Meetup taking place this Sunday September 18, 2016 from 2:30 – 4:30 at the Clarion Hotel (2120 16 Ave NE, Calgary, AB)

Hope to see you folks at the events!

 

Face to Face Meet Up

A new version of WordPress came out and it killed the events calendar. (Yay). So, as a heads up and notice, there is a Face to Face Meet Up at the Clarion Hotel (2120 16 Ave NE, Calgary, AB T2E 1L4) in the Fontanella restaurant from 2:30 – 4:30 Sunday August 21, 2016.

news flash

Come meet up and chat about Aquaponics and pretty much everything else under the sun.

Hope to see you there!

Greenhouse build update.

On the Greenhouse build, we still have a ways to go and a short time to get there.

We now have the foundation established with the timbers leveled and secured and the sidewalk blocks in place for the “dance floor”. The pallet racking walls are up and secured for the long runs waiting for the roof to be put on and the adjustments for the side walls for spacing before they get lagged into place.

We have already started our pre-plan for the grow layout, and it is amazing just how much more space and potential grow area we are getting out of the small design change and expansion of just 30 inches on two sides.
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Over all it is starting to look like something and with luck we will get it all completed before the weather starts getting cold on us.

I cant wait to get this new greenhouse rocking and growing!

How about some updates already?

I have been asked a few times about whats happening at Alberta Aquaponics this year, and the answer is simply, we are a little busy.

Our Aquaponics are on hold for the most part, but it is for good reason and it will come back, better than ever.

It served us well for several years, but it is time to move t another version.

It served us well for several years, but it is time to move t another version.

We are in the process of rebuilding the greenhouse in the back yard which has turned into a little larger of a project than we had initially anticipated with having to reorient the in ground fish tanks and then having to repack the old holes to make them solid enough to support the new build. (a lengthy process, but worth it for the safety factor)

Digging out tanks to make them fit in the new build.

Digging out tanks to make them fit in the new build.

Our back yard looks like a bomb went off in it (not something I am proud of).

The back yard is a mess while we go through the rebuild.

The back yard is a mess while we go through the rebuild.

I can assure the world it will get better with the hopes of making a bunch of progress this weekend (weather permitting).

Once it is all done up we should be able to have four times the grow space compared to what we had, a safer environment over all and a more effective winter grow space.

We are not just working in the back however.

Our Front yard has also gone through a bit of a transformation with the taking down of the two large Pine trees that have been out there for over 30 years.

Taking down the pine trees

Taking down the pine trees

Massive change to the look of the house!

Massive change to the look of the house!

We have replaced the two trees with a multi fruit plumb tree on one side of the yard and a multi fruit apple on the other side.

Grafted 3 fruit Plum and grafted 4 fruit Apple trees

Grafted 3 fruit Plum and grafted 4 fruit Apple trees

The next stage for the front is to remove the top couple of inches of grass, weeds and topsoil, top put down cardboard, put down landscape fabric and cover the entire front yard with Rundle rock. From there we will also be adding in another wicking grow bed for the front yard community garden (this may turn into a next spring project based on funds).

As we make progress and find time, I will update the progression and the projects.

Calgary Land Use Bylaws may be new cost for aquaponics.

 

The City of Calgary is reviewing the planning and development rules for growing, processing, and distributing food.

As a result of this they have put out a new survey asking for input.

A direct topic on this survey is that of aquaponics and applied legislation, permitting and licensing

What this means is that Aquaponics is now facing more legislation at the municipal levels directly with these new amendments. I strongly suggest that if you dont want aquaponics outlawed in Calgary or have another permit implemented for it in the near future, you make your opinions known on the documents.

Here is the link: Calgary Land Use Bylaws Page

Licensing Information

The Alberta Government ESRD has sent out the application for the fish license and the report for this year. As a result, I am now getting a ton of questions being sent to me ranging from “What happened to the recreational license for Tilapia” to “What happened to Koi being on the list” to “Barramundi are now on the list, so does that mean we can have them and where can I get them”?

I have been on the phone most of the morning attempting to track down the information without much success. So far I have been in contact with Janice Wilson, Jeff Presley, Dan Watson and have left a voice mail for Jim Wagner to contact me back.

So far I have been able to confirm that Koi have been taken off the list for a “Class B”, but nobody knows what that actually means or if they have been reclassed.

I have also confirmed that Barramundi are still not available in Alberta and that the Lethbridge holding facility and testing grounds of the ACE are still in an approval process with the ESRD.

I have also gotten confirmation that there is an increase in security issues involving aquaponics that is being implemented this year with the requirement for predation protection for the aquaponic system.

I asked the question of why we need to have protection for aquaponics but people with a stocked back yard pond require no such feature. This was met with “talk to Jim Wagner about that”.

I have hopes that I will be in contact with Jim Wagner before Sunday’s Face to Face Meet Up and will be able to answer some of the questions everyone has then.

Remembering Jesse Hull

The Aquaponic community has been struck a mighty blow today with the word of the passing of Jesse Hull.

Jesse Hull along with his friend Molly Stanek worked very hard on creating aquaponic educational spaces in schools and public areas all over the USA and was an active part of the Aquaponic Association at its pinnacle.

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Sadly, I only got to know Jesse via phone calls and the internet and never had the privilege to share that beer together in person we talked about so often. Even without meeting him in person, Jesse was an inspiration, sounding board, voice of reason and role model for me and someone that I will truly miss.

“Be happy, as soon and as often as you can be” – Jesse

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