Fall is here and there is just so much going on and things needing done it is almost impossible for us to keep up!
Lets do some catch up:
We just completed working with Rob and Michelle Avis from Verge Permaculture where we were showing our yard, talking food security and food safety and teaching aquaculture and aquaponics.
The course was absolutely amazing and we got to meet a lot of very cool and interesting people from all over Canada taking steps in the Permaculture Design world.
Just prior to the course, we also had the opportunity to meet and greet Geoff Lawton as he was here with Verge Permaculture to put on a seminar. Michell and Rob had Geoff come by to take a look at our yard and ended up shooting some video and doing an interview with me on aquaponics.
This was one heck on an honor in more ways than one seeing as the man shooting the video is none other than Frank Gapinski from EcoFilms Australia, who not only shoots all of the videos for Geoff, but also has done up all of the videos for Murray Hallam.
From Left to Right, Frank Gapinski, Gord Hayes, Geoff Lawton
I still cant thank the folks (Rob and Michelle) from Verge Permaculture enough for the cool opportunities and awesome experiences!
Shawn Cornish and his lovely wife Sharron came to our last face to face meet up and dropped some interesting news on a group deal for plasma lighting. They are putting together a package deal based on the number of lights that people sign up to get, so the numbers are a bit of a floating target at this point but if you are looking for supplemental lighting for this fall and winter, this may be your chance to jump in at a good price point.
You can find out more on the lights by going to www.switchgrow.com
Shawn also showed us some cool new LED Christmas and accent lighting that is low energy in more ways than one. The lighting that he is offering not only uses low levels of electricity for power but also come in a housing that makes the lights virtually invisible when not in use and gives you the ability to leave them up year round.
The lights are totally programmable and give you the ability to change colours and program display patterns and have the options of basic controls through to hooking up to a full DMX system to music synch and more.
For more info on the LED accent and Christmas Lights, check out www.mota-works.com
If you want to see any of these in action and in person, come check out the Face To Face Meetup Sunday September 21 where you can also talk to some of the other folks in the Aquaponic Community.
Now that the temperatures are starting to go down and the plants have started to run their course, we have started up our preparation for fall and winter. We did a massive harvest of the greenhouse (although we still have a lot more to go) and put the walls back up to protect things from the temperature drops.
We have also started taking a few more steps in getting the solar concentrator up and running for heating the greenhouse this winter with the addition of the pole erected in the back yard and the mount for the unit being welded on.
A huge thank you to Tim Skoger (a member of the Verge Permaculture Course) and his dad Sam Skoger (Who happens to be a welder) for getting the mount welded tot he pole for me!
I hope to have more progress to report on the concentrator soon as time and finances allow!
Latest update video:
If you want to check it out however, we will have it and a few other items as well as an aquaponic display at the Calgary Makers Faire next weekend!
Calgary Mini Maker Faire
We will again be at the Calgary Makers Faire for the weekend of September 6 and 7 presenting aquaponics along with some of the coolest creations, inventions and projects you have ever seen.
Come down and say hi as you look around the Makers Faire and the interactive Spark Science Centre exhibits, This is a show that should not be missed out on. There is honestly something for everyone at this event!
We are also about to start up our 2014 Alberta Aquaponics Sustainable Communities Initiative Campaign
We are about to step up our efforts in getting the community involved in helping us attain our goal of an Aquaponic Garden implemented at Prince of Peace.
I am asking for your help.
We are in need to $50,000.00 to implement a safe and reliable turnkey aquaponic system for the Prince of Peace Community.
$50,000.00 seems like a lot of money but the returns are well worth the investment.
With this investment we are attempting to:
1) Offset the costs of produce for the seniors in the community.
– At this point the estimated costs of produce for the community are around $5,000.00 a week. We believe that we can offset these costs
by up to 80% with the gardens growing the best and healthiest fresh produce for the people there.
** If we are successful, this alone will cover the costs of implementation within two years.
2) Create physiotherapy
– The turnkey gardens are a raised bed design allowing for wheelchair access. There is no stooping or bending that can be problematic on the joints.
With the gardens being available to the seniors to tend, it gives them the ability to move and interact with in a garden environment where they are able to get excessive. Over this they are producing their own food giving them all a sense of self worth an accomplishment that should also convert to be a cost savings for everyone living there.
3) Preventative Health Care
– Inadequate intake of nutrition affects up to 40% of individuals over 65 years of age (Ryan et al., 1992). In addition, the vast majority of older North Americans have chronic conditions in which nutrition interventions have been demonstrated to be effective in improving health and quality-of-life outcomes. 87% of older North Americans have nutrition related issues such as diabetes and hypertension, dyslipidemia, or a combination of these chronic diseases (NCHS, 1997). These conditions all have adverse outcomes that can be controlled or reduced and in some cases reversed with appropriate nutrition intervention.
Nutrition is an ever increasing issue with the elderly, even in residential care facilities. Factors such as economic bottom lines, access to quality produce and even what is on the produce can all have an impact on the health and well being of the residents.
Offering up pure food choices of healthy produce can have substantial cost savings and be a proactive methodology in health service provision within a care facility.
** The bottom line of this comes to a cost savings not just for the person in the care facility, but for everyone who is paying into the health care system.
You can help by donating to the cause at the right of the page, and by getting involved in spreading the word and getting others involved.
You can find out more information on the project in our Project Page.