Friday, December 31, 2010

Day 365

365 days of aquaponics gardening.  It's been an amazing journey of discovery for our little family.  We've grown some amazing produce and fish and had some great times in amongst it all.  

We've tried many different methods including seedlings, seeds, mixing them all up, keeping them separate.

We've done everything from root vegetables, leafy vegetables, pumpkins, herbs and everything in between.  We've shared our crop, and preserved many bottles and jars full of chutneys and sauces.

To those who have taken the time to read, share and enjoy our rantings, Thank you.  It's been a pleasure to have you along for the ride.  We hope we've shown you something and inspired you to try aquaponics.

We thought it only fitting to end were we started.  The first strawberry for season 2010 but definitely not the last.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day 348

The first delicious, crisp, fresh salad of the season.  Nothing could be better.  Mixing fresh herbs into a variety of lettuce leaves and I'm in heaven.  I just wish my pictures were better.  

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Day 346

Just today we had the good fortune to have a visit from a family who come from the town I grew up in.  Rohan, his wife Kim and their two daughters came down to have a look at the AP system and also do a spot of fishing.

It was a great afternoon and Rohan took some amazing images.

You have to check out his blog but most importantly check out the images of the AP system.

urban oasis aquaponics

I just wish I could do images like that.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day 345

Today was an exciting day.  We smoked some of our trout.  They have only just come out of the smoker so we haven't tried them yet.  The are in the refrigerator to cool down.  

It's great to have another food source in our own backyard.  

I stumbled across this little beauty and now that I have used it I know that I could smoke around 12 trout at once.  

Here you can see just one level that has 5 trout on it very comfortably.

And here is the result.  They smoked for around two and a half hours

And we cryovaced them to store them for the coming months.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day 343

If you remember back to Day 276 you may be as amazed as what we are of the difference.  What you see in these pictures is all the seeds we planted now growing strong.  Its amazing though just how fast things grow once they are moved into the AP system.  It is truly a growing machine.

It wont be long and we'll be eating some of these.  

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day 342

It really is that time of year.   So much going on and it seems no time for the little things which most often are the most important.  We have also been experiencing the craziest weather in about 14 years.  It truly is over the top.  Rain, rain and more rain.  We can't complain though as we can certainly do with it.

We added 150 Silver perch into the tank this last weekend.  Our summer fish.  It's a completely new breed for us and we are really looking forward to seeing how they go.  They have settled in extremely well and for the first time ever we haven't lost one fish in the transition.

We planted out recently our seedling into the grow beds and the growth is once again truly amazing.  I'll get some pics o n the weekend and show just how its all going.

We'll also be fishing out the last of the trout before we get some hot weather.  We have bought a smoker and plan to smoke them.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 332

The weather here in Australia is warming up and just last week we had 3 days in a row above 30oC.  It's time to start harvesting some trout.  

We invited some friends over and set about doing a spot fishing.   We caught around 60-70 and there is about that many left in the tank.  Here is a shot of the average size.   We cooked one up in the wood fired oven and they tasted great.

Here is Grace catching a rainbow trout.

This is our friend April.  This is a great pic and I'm not sure who is more scared.  Her or the fish.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 328

Today we had the good fortune of having one of Australia's top gardeners and a presenter from Gardening Australia come to visit and have a look at our backyard.  She was accompanied by the Mayor of Wyndham Vale, Heather Marcus.  I unfortunately had to work but from all reports the backyard was well received.  

It's great to know that we are getting interest in all the hard work we have invested and now starting to enjoy.  Who knows maybe one day we will make it on to an episode of the TV show.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 327

Well we've been a little slack in posting for awhile... but we've been busy pulling out all the old winter veggies and planting for spring/summer.  Just today we celebrated the arrival of the first strawberry and Grace was thrilled.  She hasn't been feeling the best lately and this perked her up..  

Here's to all the new and yummy crops we'll be enjoying in the coming months.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 311

Today we decided it was time to remove the old and plant the new.  What this also meant though was we had a huge harvest of many things.  Herbs and spinach to name a few so we decided to dry the herbs and make our own dried herbs to enjoy over the coming months.  If you haven't done it before which we hadn't then get some fresh herbs from your garden and dry them and crush them up.  The flavour and aroma is so intense.  Nothing at all like the supermarket bought jars.

We also had more spinach and silver beet than we could carry and filled two laundry baskets.  We blanched, finely chopped, sealed in bags and froze 200gm portions of these beautiful greens and it now means we'll be able to have quiches and omelettes and all sorts of delicious things over summer without the hassle.  

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day 305

1st of November and a huge harvest of Broad beans.  They are everywhere now and Grace managed to fill her pink wheelbarrow with the delicious crop.  Now the fun part is to double pod them and eat them.

We'll pull most of the broad beans out soon as some of our seeds are ready to go into the AP and we need some space.  So looking forward to watermelon, pumpkins, cucumbers, zucchini and corn just to mention a few.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Day 299

Finally we can enjoy some broad beans and the girls loved picking them.  They are very slow growing but so worth the wait.  

Matilda snagged herself a big basketful of silver beet, purple peas, broad beans and herbs. 

It makes us very proud when we see the girls enjoying the backyard and all its yummy treasures.  

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Day 289

Argh... the winter crop is slow and boring.  I came so close to pulling out a couple of the grow beds today but stopped myself.  Our seeds are growing and are just about ready to be put in the AP system and I have no room because I have so many winter veggies in there.  It's a great situation to be in, but bring on the yummy summer veggies.

We did get an awesome rainbow over the patch today though.  Something nice out of all the rain we've been having and the tank is now over half full.  

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Day 286

One of the best parts of having you own veggie patch is being able to pick only want you will eat at that time.  Why buy a whole head of broccoli, huge bunches of spring onions, celery etc that you wont use.  

Tonight I went in search of some broad beans but unfortunately they are still stretching out and growing but I did find some beautiful purple snow peas and about a small head of broccoli.  Adding some spinach that is growing like a forest and we had the perfect sized veggie portions for our night meal and the rest is still in the patch growing not sitting in the fridge dying.  FRESH IS BEST!