Alberta Aquaponics

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.

img_2439

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.

img_2442
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.

img_2443
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/

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!

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!

 

Where The Heck Are The Updates?

Things have been crazy busy here for the last while and as a result, updates and the web have kind of taken a back seat.

Its not that we don’t care or we don’t want to keep everyone informed, there simply are not enough hours in a day.

With that said, here are some updates:

Lets start with catching up!

There is a Face to Face Meet up This Sunday (yes, on Fathers Day). Come on out and join up with the other die hard Aquaponists and get some geek time in! Come on out in person and lets catch up on everything!

The greenhouse is growing like mad with us harvesting long english cucumbers, lettuce, and kale like mad. The peppers, squash and tomatoes are coming on fast with flowers everywhere and pollinators working hard to help us on our way!

The greenhouse this year is a little scaled back from what we usually have because of the construction and changes we are making (see the prior post for details).

Some pictures of the garden:

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”4″ gal_title=”Update 061915″]

We have been working very hard on some of the other projects including the Solar installation.

We have taken down the array that we had on the garage and have just received the solar equipment to put into play. In total we will have a 5 KW system installed using micro inverters feeding to grid as out starting point. We have plans of adding in a Tesla Power Wall battery when they are available (we are on the waiting list).

The hoops have been piling up and what we expected to be in play a while ago is still a work in progress. With that said, we are making progress and weather permitting, we should have the hardware mounted by early next week.

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”5″ gal_title=”Starting Solar”]

I can honestly say that there is a LOT more than meets the eye when it comes to putting in Solar. The high side is we are going to be doing up a bit of a course on it as we do the build to help people who are looking into it in avoiding the pitfalls.

I still have a bunch to do, so I am going to cut this short and with luck I will see you at the face to face and catch up more in person.

Post Snow And Away We Go!

We still have a lot going on here but I wanted to take a few minutes and at least put in a post with a fast text and picture update.

Last weekend was Makers Faire and it was awesome!


We got to meet so many very cool people doing so many interesting project it was unbelievable.

As you may already know we had a good dump of snow already and some pretty cool temperatures which have put us well in panic mode on getting things setup for the winter months. Luckily we did a bit of prep the weekend before Makers Faire and got end walls back up and started harvesting out some of the larger plants that would not have survived the cold snap.

With that said, we still have a ways to go in getting everything ready for the colder months and keeping us growing.

On the short list we have the plants int he greenhouse to move and transfer around, the bunnies to move in, the water battery to build and about 300 other tasks to take care of that I want to get on as soon as it dries out a little more. (fingers crossed on that)

We have started working on getting the greenhouse setup with our fall crop and have several jars on the counter where we are attempting a new sprouting technique for pre-planting that I will be talking about once we figure out if it works well or not.

We have started more work on the solar concentrator and have our order in for the solar tracker which I have hopes will be here next week. I have in my possession, four dishes to be turned into concentrators, a pole in the ground, a backboard mounted and ready to go and all of the tubing and barrels ready for the tie in.

With luck I will have heat going in the greenhouse within a couple of weeks and with more luck the weather will back off a little and let me get the project completed before I actually need it!

We still have a bunch of work to do in the house moving in the pepper plants in the buckets into the basement and attaching them to another small aquaponic system.

I have hopes on getting a video of this as all of this happens.

In short we have a lot to do around here.

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!

In the near future, we have a Face to Face Meet Up next Sunday that should have a bunch of new people from Makers Faire attending as well as a few folks from the upcoming aquaponics course.

Over all it should be an awesome gathering with great idea and information exchanges. I have hopes of getting a conversation going as a round table to find out what everyone has learned over this last year, advise they would give to new people starting out and things that they would do and would not do again based off their success and failures.

(If you would like to share your year, please feel free to bring pictures and video via a flash drive and we will set up the laptop to show everyone.)

It should be a good learning experience for everyone.

Speaking of courses, we are again about to do another Verge PDC tour and course where we will be teaching Aquaculture and aquaponics as wella s giving everyone a tour of our setup here in the back yard. Check out Verge Permacultures Permaculture Design Certificate course to take your growing and understanding to the next level! The course is amazing and a lot of fun!

We are also putting on an Aquaponics Course with Build Component AKA our introduction class to aquaponics on October 26. This is a full step up from the Verge introduction to aquaponics and actually gets into the fish and vegetables of the matter, giving you a full understanding on how to setup and maintain an aquaponic system.

Sign up and take advantage of the early bird prices and start your aquaponics garden off in the best possible manner!