Aquaponics...


                                                                                                                        February 2011
 

Hello:

Back in February 2009 I did a newsletter on Victory Gardens and why you should plant one. I think the need for a garden of some sort is greater now than ever before... just look at what's going on around you - economic troubles in nations, states, and cities, riots, countries tumbling, food prices soaring, commodities soaring in general, etc, etc. Just look at what's happening in Wisconsin with the labor unions and you'll get a glimpse into your not so distant future.

But that's not what I want to talk to you about today... in 2009, I dug aquaponicsup half my yard and planted a garden. This involved...

  • Cutting several trees down and renting a stump grinder to get rid of the stumps. Backbreaking work to say the least.
  • I rented a tiller to do a first time till of the thick grass in my yard. More backbreaking work.
  • I purchased a smaller tiller to keep it tilled and the grass at bay.
  • I planted the seeds and started watering. A couple months later, I got the bill for the water.
  • The seeds started sprouting OK and I thought everything was going to be good.
  • Then came the weeds. And the grass kept growing back. Time to start some serious weeding and hoeing and laying down expensive weed control fabric. I wanted to keep it organic, so no herbicides. More backbreaking work.
  • So... my tomatoes were fine one day and then wilted the next. What the heck? Some kind of fungus, blight, or bug - oh my!
  • About the same with my expensive blueberry plants... some kind of bug laid eggs all over the stems which eventually killed the plants.
  • My bell peppers were the size of golf balls maybe a little bigger. I thought I was going to have some nice salsa or spaghetti sauce or stuffed peppers! I came home from a weekend out of town and every single one of them suckers was gone! Plants were fine - just the peppers disappeared. I suspect the racoons got them one night.
  • The corn never did get too big, the bugs ate my strawberries, weeds took over my pole beans. About the only thing that thrived was the okra - that stuff will grow anywhere.
  • My peach, apple, and orange trees will take years to grow large enough to bear fruit. Two of them already died due to unknown reasons.

This year, I was going to try raised bed gardening in an attempt to beat the "garden gremlins"... build a wooden frame, haul in a truckload of dirt, shovel the dirt, etc. Sounds like a lot of work and expense!

Then I heard about "aquaponics" from my good friend Les Oke...

Just in the nick of time too! This is gonna save me a lot of time and money and hard work. Now... I'm not talking about hydroponics here. That's a different system altogether. Aquaponics is a more complete growing environment for your plants and it is easier too. It basically involves a simple fish tank, a water pump hooked to some simple inexpensive PVC pipe, and a growing mat. Much easier than an expensive & technical hydroponics system. And definitely better than messing around with all that dirt, weeds, pesticides, wasted water, bugs, and pepper eating critters.

For all the details, click on the graphic below...

 

Sincerely,
Bill Anderson

 

 

 

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