Donna and I spent the weekend getting a bunch of spring stuff sorted out.
First off, we spent a bunch of time cleaning up the server and getting it back up and running (not a lot of fun on that project). After the melt down and issues we are taking a bit of a loss for the year that has just started and as a result may have to cut out some of the projects we wanted to make happen this year.
Our plans were lengthy for this year. We wanted to rebuild the greenhouse and make it more efficient, knock down the two pine trees in the front yard, replace them with another 6 wicking grow beds for our community garden, add in another 5KW of solar to the mix to take everything off grid and rebuild the flow through vermacomposter and bunny hutches all over and above everything else we normally do.
At this point I am not sure how much we are going to be able to make happen, but I am still hopeful and time will tell.
We now have just over 600 plants started for the greenhouse and community garden wicking beds, and I can honestly tell you that I am hyped to get growing!
I keep going into the greenhouse and looking at the plants in there with the intent of mass harvesting and replanting with the starters. I know it is still a little early for it and that our starters are still a bit young and unhardened for the move, but the urge is strong and the want is almost overpowering.
I can wait until we have a full lush greenhouse again filled with amazing plants and activity. The hardest part of winter is the wait for the big growing season again. The winter growing is ok, but it is just not the same as the lush look and feel of the summer. (Granted it may have a lot more to do with the light and the temperatures, but the feelings between the two seasons are immense).
For now, all I can do is sit and plan.
Its a good thing we have the face to face meet ups to at least help deal with the additions of aquaponics and the long, hard seasons while we wait! Of which, our next Face to Face meeting is on April 19.
As for the short term action, we are getting ready for spring with another ABC’s of Aquaponics Course for May 2.
I am again hyped for meeting new eager people looking to get into aquaponics and help in getting them started!
We got to get to know a lot of very cool people from the last course, with many of them actively planning and creating aquaponics systems now.
A couple of them have already put in orders for fish and have received their licenses.
Sean Morish has created up a Turnkey Aquaponic system that we had the chance to debut at Seedy Saturday.
Although the one we showed was a cut down version for a road show, making it easier to carry and set up, he is working hard on a full sized system that we should have up in the store soon.
The new Turnkey Aquaponic system is going to be based off of a 70 gallon aquarium with a 4′ x 2′ x 1′ grow bed. The unit is a three piece system with the grow bed being removable, the stand to support the grow bed and protect the fish tank and the tank stand which is a roll out tray allowing you access to the fish and pumps.
The high side of the unit is that it is large enough scale for success, home decor friendly and a turnkey system that you can just put together and start cycling.
In that this system is not the industrial look of most of the DIY aquaponics systems, we expect that this will be a lot more accepted as a piece of furniture in a living room or family room setting, making it a true showcase for aquaponics and what it has to offer.
Sean is working hard on putting together a few options for the unit including addons like a hanging light mounts and customization.
I can report that the demo turnkey system is now running in my living room as a replacement to the barrelponic system that was there. The unit has been running trouble free with both the fish and the plants very happy and healthy within it. I suggest that you have a good look at it when you are by next and evaluate it for yourself.
Stay tuned for more information and updates in the near future.
We are working on getting a bunch of new products for people shortly. We have been working with some new suppliers and sorting out some of the logistic issues at the moment, but many new and awesome products should be available shortly.
We have started adding in a few of the products in the shop and have hopes that we will have product in stock within the month.
Barring any more bugs and issues we should be back on track with lots of updates and information coming to you soon!