Apr 07

Face to Face Meet Up change and Last Call for Course!

This is the final countdown for the Aquaponics and Build course for April 12.

If you are planning on being a part of it, you need to sign up fast because time is running out.

I had a couple of people request for tickets for just the course without the road trip, so I have created a course only ticket for those interested.

And for those that cant take the course but want to go on a very cool road trip to Lethbridge College and the Aquaculture Centre of Excellence, we have a ticket for you too!
You will also note that we have moved the Alberta Aquaponics Face to Face Meet Up from the Sunday of the Long Weekend to the day after the course on Sunday April 13.

SignTinFoilHatArea

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

The new location is turning out to be a fantastic meeting place which includes a full menu and Starbucks coffee. Its not loud or hard to find a seat and we get waited on like royalty.

Come on out and meet up with everyone in the aquaponic community.  Come be a part of the conversations and help welcome in some new people from the course into the local aquaponic world.

As always we will have a door prize (again, a huge thank you to KiltedCelt for the donation) to give away, and we will be doing a fast presentation on our greenhouse modifications that we have put into play for this spring with some why’s and how’s.

I would also like to put out there that if you have a build that you would like to show off or a presentation of your own that you would like to put on, feel free to let me know and we will set you up for a face to face meeting to do just that.

Many of you have some very interesting builds (aquaponics and otherwise) that I am sure people would love to see and hear about! Don’t be shy about showing off your hard work!

  

Apr 02

Spring Cleaning

I have had a few problems with the website not working with a couple of the plug ins that we have paid for and just can’t seem to get them sorted out. As a last ditch effort before I take down the website and revert back to just putting up posters on the lamp post in front of my house, I am going to be trying out a few different layouts to see if it resolves the problems.

So, if you hit the site and it looks all messed up and strange, hang in there with me because it is most likely just me trying things out. (This is why I hate open source technology.)

We are officially getting prepped for spring!

Donna and I moved around a bunch of stuff in the greenhouse and sorted out some of the grow beds in preparation for this year’s growing.

Now if the weather will just cooperate, we can move the bunnies out of the greenhouse and start getting everything plumbed in for the bucket systems we want to get running. We are thinking that this year we will attempt to have the bigger vine and tomato plants in bucket systems that are tied into the aquaponic gardens. This is something new we have not attempted in the past, but I am feeling the need to try out.

So far we have collected up 20 buckets for the project. Now we just need the space and the plumbing parts to get it all in motion.

We started up some more of the tomato plants for this year in one of the aerogardens and have opted for just doing Romas this year rather than doing a bunch of stuffers. I may still go with a couple of cherry or grape tomatoes if I can sneak them in without Donna noticing.

I am not sure what else we are going to push on for this year, but I have hopes that this weekend will be our chance to figure it out and get stuff planted.

For now, here is the update video:

Update on the Aquaponics and Build Course.

I have been contacted by a few people saying that they want to take the course but were unable to make the bus trip to Lethbridge on May 3. As a result I have set up a ticket for just the course that does not include the trip. For those interested, here is the new ticket for the course without the bus trip:

  

Mar 30

Course and Road Trip!

Get a jump on spring by taking the Aquaponics and Build Course!Aquaponics in teh classroom
This course is an all inclusive course and road trip where you will spend April 12, at SAIT learning about aquaponics and how to build and maintain an aquaponic garden. This is then followed up with a Road Trip to Lethbridge College and the Aquaculture Centre of Excellence where we will meet up with Charlie Shultz for a lecture and a tour of the facility.
For more information on the course, click here!
road_tripFor those of you unable to take the course but wanting to go to Lethbridge College we have a Road Trip just for you! Join us for a buss trip on May 3 to visit Lethbridge Colleges Aquaculture Centre of Excellence where we will meet up with Charlie Shultz for a tour of the facility and a lecture!

  

Mar 29

Alberta Aquaponics On The Radio!

MicAlberta Aquaponics will be doing a radio interview tomorrow at 9:00 am with Meryl Coombs ‘Let’s Talk Gardening’ program on News Talk 770 am, which runs every Sunday from 9:00 -11:00am.

Meryl Coombs owns Spruce It Up Gardening Centre here in Calgary as well as hosts the “Let’s Talk Gardening”  program on News Talk 770 AM.

Gord Hayes will be taking questions and giving answers on aquaponics and  the Alberta Sustainable Agricultural Society Co-op.

News Talk 770 AM 9:00 - 11:00 Sunday for "Lets Talk Gardening"!

News Talk 770 AM 9:00 – 11:00 Sunday for “Lets Talk Gardening”!

 

  

Mar 28

Signings of Spring

The last few weeks have bee a whirlwind of activity. Seedy Saturday through to the SAIT Tech Faire has had us jumping and moving with setting up our display system and moving things from lace to place.

I am actually amazed at how well our plants made it through the entire batch of movements we did with them in tow. We had a couple of the events that made me have even more wonder about it.

Seedy SaturdayWhen we loaded in to Seedy Saturday, it was a little chilly outside and it had me worried about the plants getting a chill and just flopping over and dying. Then in the middle of Seedy Saturday with all of the people in the building the temperatures spiked to the point where I expected the plants would keel over from the heat.

Somehow the plants managed to make it through all of it and the move back home.

I am amazed at how many people came through at Seedy Saturday! It was a fantastic turn out and we got to meet a bunch of very cool people as a result!

Then we used those same plants for the SAIT Tech Faire.

SAIT Tech Faire 2014

The load in for the SAIT Tech Faire was even more scary for cold with temperatures that took a good drop on the morning and dumped snow all over the place.

We attempted to use a new technique for moving the plants by putting one of the bins over the top of the plants to try and clam shell them to keep the heat in but found out fast that the extra top bin only made things harder to move and we almost crushed the plants as it slid all over the place. Lesson learned for next time and the next set of events which seem to be coming fast.

I will be glad when the weather changes up and it turns into spring so we can get going again in the greenhouse and start planting.

Even if the weather is not cooperating as I want, the date says it is coming close to the end of March giving us one of the sure signs of spring with having to renew our license for our Class B Aquaculture License.

We completed up our documentation Monday and sent off everything for our aquaculture license for submission before April 1 for the upcoming year. It may not be plants goring in the sunshine, warm temperatures and an active greenhouse but it is a sure sign that spring is on the way here. If nothing else, it is the signing of our paperwork for spring.

This usually means that we are about to hit a rush for fish, so I expect it will be a busy next few weeks.

Speaking of the next few weeks, we still have a few big things coming up for people to get involved with.

We have our Aquaponic and Build Course going on April 12.
If you want to get an aquaponic system set up for spring, this is a course for you to get a step up on everything you need to know to get going and a build process to put into practice.

This course also offers up a seat on our bus trip for May 3 to go to the Lethbridge College and the Aquaculture Centre of Excellence where we will get a tour of the facility and a lecture from Charlie Shultz.

For those who dont want to take the course, but want to take the road trip we are also offering up seats to get on the road trip for May 3.

For now, we have a update video for you to check out!

  

Mar 23

Road Trip to Lethbridge Aquaculture Centre of Excellence

  

Mar 20

Happy Spring Equinox!

Although it is the first day of spring today, it feels a lot more like the first day of winter here. The snow is pounding down and what was (as of yesterday) open areas of grass is now covered in a thick blanket of white.

First Day of Spring?None the less, today is the Vernal Equinox when the angle of the earth inclination toward the sun that changes throughout the year has both hemispheres of (more or less) equal length. This is where it gets its name; Vernal meaning “pertaining to spring” and Equinox meaning “Equal Night”.

The high point to the Vernal Equinox is that planting is just around the corner. The start of Calgary’s 5 month growing window of light is here. Although the general rule has always been not to plant anything outside in the ground until after the May long weekend, the greenhouse and aquaponic gardens that have been growing all winter are telling me to be brave and get the crops in early this year.

I had hopes this weekend would have me moving toward that direction in planting some more starters in the Aeroponic garden and getting the greenhouse cleaned up. That was before the snow dump now. At this point I am thinking of foregoing the greenhouse cleanup for another week which may be just as well with everything we have going on.

I am a little concerned about how the plants are going to handle this weather tomorrow as we load in for the SAIT Tech Faire. The last thing I want is a bunch of plants attempting to handle a move, light changes and the cold all at one shot and then go on display to show how well aquaponics works. It is kind of an unfair thing to ask of the plants. I hope that they are the display will work out ok for the event.

If you are looking for something cool to check out for tomorrow, I invite you to come down to the SAIT campus and check out the Tech Faire. Come by and say “hi” if you are there!

SAIT Tech Faire
For now, happy spring and lets get growing!

  

Mar 18

Aquaponics Course Update

A-New-PlaceI am sorry to say that we are having some issues with our new booking software on the website. As a result of the issues we have set up an Eventbrite page to handle the transactions and booking process until we can get the software sorted out.
For those looking to sign up, please follow this link: http://www.eventbrite.ca/e/aquaponics-and-build-course-tickets-10994989309?aff=efbevent

  

Mar 15

Aquaponic Course

couse click hereAlberta Aquaponics is putting on an aquaponics course with a build component April 12, 2014 at SAIT. This build component will work for small and large scale systems and will give you a full understanding of scaling for each.

If you have ever wanted to get into aquaponics or wanted to expand you knowledge, this is going to be the course to take. You will end up with a solid core knowledge of the base principals so that you can confidently put together and maintain long term an aquaponic garden.

This is a one day course with a lot to offer!

The course will cover:
What is Aquaponics
A Brief History of Aquaponics
Types of Aquaponics
The Grow bed
-Media
-Bell Siphon
Nitrification
Water Testing
Fish tanks
Pumps
Aquaculture Laws in Alberta
Fish
-Goldfish
-Koi
-Tilapia
Plants
Lighting
Pre-build Planning
- Basic Safety
- The Stand
- Electrical
Maintenance
Tips and Tricks
And so much more!

Throughout this course we will be doing a build of an aquaponic system. This course will give you the knowledge to assemble all of the parts required for practical application of the build and the ability to make it scaleable and workable system for a 45 gallon aquarium build through to a full IBC tote application.

You will receive a binder with the course slides and area for notes,  A copy of the Aquaponic monitor sheets (Water, Fish, Plants, Lighting, Electrical) as well as full build parts lists for putting everything together. Lunch will also be provided.

But that is not all!

How would you like to go on a road trip to see something very cool that is aquaponic related?

I am proud to announce a team up of Alberta Aquaponics with the Lethbridge College and the Aquaculture Centre of Excellence!

Along with the purchase of this course you will also be eligible to join us on a tour of the Lethbridge College Aquaculture Centre of Excellence on May 3, 2014. We will have a 56 passenger coach picking us up in Calgary and taking us all to Lethbridge where we will get a tour of the facility.

Run by R. Charlie Shultz, the ACE is a world class aquculture and aquaponic facility, and something that should not be missed out on seeing. More than just a course, this is truly a life event.

Charlie Shultz, Aquaponics Researcher at Lethbridge College.
He spent about 14 years at the University of the Virgin Islands in St. Croix working under aquaponic Guru, Dr. James Rakocy. He has worked with Alberta Ag employees for over a decade, including Dr. Nick Savidov and his evolution of the UVI design for Alberta conditions. He spent a couple years before moving to Lethbridge getting a grad degree from Kentucky State University where he studied lighting options for indoor aquaponic systems.

We will be getting a tour by Charlie Shultz himself walking us through everything that the ACE has to offer!

But that is still not all!!

Charlie Shultz will also be presenting a lecture at the ACE location after the tour.

http://www.lethbridgecollege.ca/about-us/applied-research-innovation/aquaculture-centre-excellence

Showing the full range of a home based aquaponic garden that you can build yourself to a multi-million dollar facility for education and commercial endeavors, this course will offer you the most well rounded educational experience you could hope for!

This course and trip is sure to sell out fast, so sign up today and get ready for a life changing event!

  

Mar 12

Events, More Events And A Life Changing Course With A ROAD TRIP!

Saying things have been busy for the last while is more than an understatement. So much is going on and moving I can hardly keep up.

We have a bunch of things to announce and get people involved in, here are some of the upcoming events.
seedy

On the Saturday March 15th, Calgary Seedy Saturday is taking place! I am happy to say that ASAS and Alberta Aquaponics will be at the event. This is an absolute must to come and be a part of!

Admission Fee: $2.00 per person.

This family event will have displays by:

  • local seed savers,
  • prairie seed companies,
  • native plant collectors,
  • conservation groups,
  • community gardeners,
  • organic growers; as well as,
  • a seed exchange table,
  • refreshments,
  • presenters, and
  • a kids corner!

Calgary Seedy Saturday is part of the worldwide Seedy Saturday/Sunday events that celebrate open-pollinated seeds. In Calgary, the event is coordinated with the support of the Community Garden Resource Network.

Calgary Seedy Saturday is keeping the skill of growing from seed to seed alive in Calgary. As large commercial seed companies consolidate and only offer more hybrids and patented varieties, We are increasingly losing the regionally adapted collections that have developed in our unique prairie climate.

Calgary Seedy Saturday helps maintain this irreplaceable genetic diversity by offering non-hybridized, non-GMO varieties of seeds. You and your family can discover the superior taste of heirloom vegetables, learn to save seeds and share them with your neighbours. As you grow them season after season these seeds will adapt and grow that much healthier!

SignTinFoilHatArea

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

Sunday March 16,  is our Face to Face Meet Up!

Keep in mind we are at a new location, and the new location is rocking cool! Come on in and check it out for yourself and get involved in some great conversation on Aquaponics, a presentation and lets not forget our door prize give away!
sait

The next big event we have on the go is going to be on March 21 at the SAIT tech Faire!

Alberta Aquaponics will be at the SAIT 2nd Annual Spring Tech Faire with demonstration aquaponic gardens and lots of information!

Come join us at the event!
Stop by and say “Hi”!

The second annual Spring Tech Faire, presented by the Reg Erhardt Library at SAIT will showcase student, alumni, and community activities in the areas of technology, science, invention, and collaboration.

The public is invited to explore fun, interactive, and educational events in an environment which celebrates creative Calgarians!
news flash

Now for an announcement that I am very excited about.

For the last while people have been trying to get me to put on an aquaponic course with a build component involved. I am happy to say that I am about to do just that!

Alberta Aquaponics is putting on an aquaponics course with a build component April 12, 2014 at SAIT. This build component will work for small and large scale systems and will give you a full understanding of scaling for each.

If you have ever wanted to get into aquaponics or wanted to expand you knowledge, this is going to be the course to take. You will end up with a solid core knowledge of the base principals so that you can confidently put together and maintain long term an aquaponic garden.

This is a one day course with a lot to offer!

The course will cover:
What is Aquaponics
A Brief History of Aquaponics
Types of Aquaponics
The Grow bed
-Media
-Bell Siphon
Nitrification
Water Testing
Fish tanks
Pumps
Aquaculture Laws in Alberta
Fish
-Goldfish
-Koi
-Tilapia
Plants
Lighting
Pre-build Planning
- Basic Safety
- The Stand
- Electrical
Maintenance
Tips and Tricks
And so much more!

Throughout this course we will be doing a build of an aquaponic system. This course will give you the knowledge to assemble all of the parts required for practical application of the build and the ability to make it scaleable and workable system for a 45 gallon aquarium build through to a full IBC tote application.

You will receive a binder with the course slides and area for notes,  A copy of the Aquaponic monitor sheets (Water, Fish, Plants, Lighting, Electrical) as well as full build parts lists for putting everything together. Lunch will also be provided.

But that is not all!

How would you like to go on a road trip to see something very cool that is aquaponic related?

I am proud to announce a team up of Alberta Aquaponics with the Lethbridge College and the Aquaculture Centre of Excellence!

Along with the purchase of this course you will also be eligible to join us on a tour of the Lethbridge College Aquaculture Centre of Excellence on May 3, 2014. We will have a 56 passenger coach picking us up in Calgary and taking us all to Lethbridge where we will get a tour of the facility.

Run by R. Charlie Shultz, the ACE is a world class aquculture and aquaponic facility, and something that should not be missed out on seeing. More than just a course, this is truly a life event.

Charlie Shultz, Aquaponics Researcher at Lethbridge College.
He spent about 14 years at the University of the Virgin Islands in St. Croix working under aquaponic Guru, Dr. James Rakocy. He has worked with Alberta Ag employees for over a decade, including Dr. Nick Savidov and his evolution of the UVI design for Alberta conditions. He spent a couple years before moving to Lethbridge getting a grad degree from Kentucky State University where he studied lighting options for indoor aquaponic systems.

We will be getting a tour by Charlie Shultz himself walking us through everything that the ACE has to offer!

But that is still not all!!

Charlie Shultz will also be presenting a lecture at the ACE location after the tour.

http://www.lethbridgecollege.ca/about-us/applied-research-innovation/aquaculture-centre-excellence

Showing the full range of a home based aquaponic garden that you can build yourself to a multi-million dollar facility for education and commercial endeavors, this course will offer you the most well rounded educational experience you could hope for!

This course and trip is sure to sell out fast, so sign up today and get ready for a life changing event!

Not interested in the course but want to go see the Aquaculture Centre of Excellence?

No problem. We have your back!
road_tripCome sign up for the extra seats on the bus and join us in our trip to Lethbridge where you will get a tour of the ACE facility by Charlie Shultz and be able to attend his lecture on May 3, 2014!

Road trips are always a bunch of fun, and what better way to meet other people interested in aquaponics in your  community than to go on a trip with them and share an experience together!
Make sure you bring your camera for this event!

I am sorry I don’t have the video update for this week. Things have just been too crazy busy to make one happen. I will attempt to gather up some video of the upcoming venues and post up one for next week with an update on what is going on here!

  

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