Friday, June 27, 2014

Aquaponic wicking beds

This is the newest bed in the greenhouse.  Wicking beds are going to be the big "new thing" in aquaponics, because of their ability to grow root crops and fruiting plants not grown before in soilless  and raft systems.  Solid waste removal is less of a problem because solids are used to feed worms in the beds and are removed by this method.

Stand  pipe @ 5 inches

Bio mass generation

Sun flower sprouting, 2 lbs per tray every 7 days. 
(2 days soaking/sprouting and 5 days growing)

River rock in the tray with the media guard and bell siphon

River rock to a depth of 5 inches

Perlite and coco coir on top of the river rock 

3 inches perlite/coco coir

Water inlet pipes go down into the river rock beneath the perlite/coco coir

Moisture wicking up to the beds surface via capillary action

Compost 1" thick added to perlite/ coco coir and mixed in to top inch

Planted seedlings and seeds

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Grow bed HDPE liner install

Piece of 10'x10' 20mil thick HDPE liner.
HDPE or #2 plastic is less flexable than other liners like EPDM, PVC, Butyl, LLDPE, but is more puncture resistant and resistant to hydrocarbons and chemicals.  Most Importantly HDPE the safest of the listed plastics for human and animal health.

Folding the plastic before placing in grow bed

Plastic in grow bed

Sides and ends folded up and stapled in place

1.5" Stand pipe, 1.5" ID bulkhead, 1.5" barbed fitting


25th St. Garden and Greenhouse

Geodome and yard

River rock and perlite/coco mix

Perlite and Coco

River rock .75"-1.5" size

Top media bed

North Wall, Tank, Plumbing

Mushroom bags and worm beds

Radish and Mushroom

Thermostat for ventilation fan, temperatures often reach 110 deg at the top of the dome

Top grow bed, the bed is filled 1.5" deep with river rock and wicking compost pots on top of the rocks.  The bottom to the pots are submerged 1" when the bed floods

Top grow bed

Water tank

Drain piping

Monday, June 23, 2014

First year garden

Front Yard

Radishes, spinach and lettuce

Baby lettuce

Seedlings and yard cover

Robin bathing

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Growing Mushrooms

These have been popping up all over the garden.
  I thought they might want some friends so I ordered some mushroom spawn

Mushroom spawn from Field to Forest Products,  5.5lbs Wine Cap Sawdust and 4lbs Italian Oyster Sawdust.  It cost $65 total, $48 for the spawn and $18 for shipping

Oyster Spawn

Gloves and goggles

Hydrated Lime is pH 12 (strong base) and can be used to pasteurize straw substrate with out heating.  Hydrated lime is very basic so wear eye protection and gloves to protect your skin, it will dry out your skin and make it irritable and burn the shit out of your eyes, so please use protection.
Other ways to pasteurize are heat, steam, bleach, borax, hydrogen peroxide, detergents and on and on

Containers for soaking straw and wood chips

Add lime first then water at a ratio of 33g lime per one gallon water or 4lbs per 55gal

Add water until container is 3/4 way full and stir until lime is dissolved into solution

Add substrate to containers of lime solution and let soak for 24hrs

Substrate after 24hrs of soaking 

Remove the substrate and dry on a screen until substrate releases only one or two drops of water when squeezing it.  In this case, one hour

Oyster spawn before mixing into straw

Spawn mixed into straw at a ratio of 4 lbs spawn per straw bale

Straw mixed with spawn packed tightly in to bags with hole poked in them to allow the fungi to breath.  Fill the bag 3/4 way full, tie the bag closed and labeled it takes about 2 weeks for the bags to fully colonize at 75 degree Fahrenheit and 90% humidity

Bags ready to be hung

5.5 lbs Wine cap Spawn on Sawdust

Dug down in the wood chips about 6 inches or until the chips were mostly moist then spread spawn in the bed.  An area of 20 sqft. received 2lbs of Wine cap spawn.  
After on layer of spawn, two inches if chips were added and another layer of spawn on top of those. Finally covering with a layer of chips 6 inches tall and watering in thoroughly.

Water the mushroom bed every few days depending on your weather