Sunday, September 19, 2010

Day 262

You can tell its spring when the colours start appearing.  All this and more is growing in the patch and we are starting to plant seeds in potting mix to grow seedlings for transplant into the AP in the coming months.

Our plan is to pack it so full it will be bursting for the spring/summer seasons and harvest as much as we can.  Exciting times.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day 258

Here it is.  Our new 3400lt rain water tank.  We purchased this with the money we received for winning the Sustainable Gardens competition last Sunday.  Its going to help us be even more sustainable and will be used to catch rain water to top up the AP system.  It gives us the capacity to basically store enough water to fill the entire AP tanks once over.  

It will be great in summer which is when the most evaporation occurs in the AP system.  So now we just need a bit of rainfall in the next couple of months to fill it up.  Here's hoping we can get it full.  

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day 257

I've just realised that we are nearly into the last 100 days of Harvest 365.  Its amazing to think just how much we have grown of our own food.  I haven't posted every day as I didn't want to bore you all with another "bunch of spinach" post but we have picked a significant component of our daily food.  

We have come along way and learning every day.  We have won the award and hopefully shown others what can come from an AP system.  The best part is it's only the start of the most productive season of the year so it can only go uphill from here.  

Today we ordered a 3400ltr rain water tank.  We used the $500 form the sustainability competition to buy the tank so we'll always have a reminder and we are going another step toward bringing the system to a self sufficient one.  

Anyway enough of my rant.  Here's todays pick.  All that fresh coriander torn up and tossed through the stir fry.... I can still smell it on my hands... Bliss.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day 256

Another long day at work and we wanted to get something on the table fast for dinner.  My wife asked me to pick as much as I could and came up with this fantastic "frittata" style dish.

Once again the flavours are just amazing.  Even if you have just a pot and some soil, try growing some fresh herbs.  You'll get hooked.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Day 255

We did it.  We were awarded today with the First Prize in the Sustainable Garden Competition at  the Wyndham Sustainability Festival.  It's a great achievement for us and one we greatly appreciate receiving.  It makes all our work over the last couple of years in the garden worthwhile and one that will keep us aiming to be even more conscious of what we are doing with our block.  

Hopefully it will also help get the word about aquaponics out there as well as others discover the different elements that bring our sustainable garden together.

Part of the award was $500 and we are going to use that money to purchase a larger rain water tank to harvest rainfall to keep the AP fish tanks topped up over summer.  

So a HUGE thanks to the Wyndham City Council and the sponsors of the competition.  It's great to see organisations getting behind a great cause and bringing sustainability to the forefront.  

Friday, September 10, 2010

Day 253

How could I resist taking this image.  A bunch of fresh parsley offered up by my daughter.  It's the end of another week and tonight we picked leeks, cauliflower and parsley for our dinner. 

I'm playing around with the photos to see if I can go to the next level for the pics I take for the blog.  Not sure if this works though.

It was all a bit much for our youngest one though.  She was getting tired and over posing for a photo.

This is the seeds the girls planted a little while ago.  The have been living in our oldest daughters bedroom for the last couple of weeks and are growing strong.  Each day the girls have a look to see how they are growing.  Wont be long before these go into the AP system ready to produce beautiful heirloom tomatoes for us.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Day 250

Tomorrow is judging day, as we have two judges from the local council coming to look at the garden and "the patch" to see if we will take out the Sustainable Garden Award.  We are very happy to be finalists but even more excited that aquaponics might get more exposure in our area by the inclusion of our backyard in the competition.

Tonight we picked a bowl of pac choi, silver beet, herbs, celery and I pulled a carrot to see what size they are at now.  It made a great stir fry.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Day 249

I've always wondered if there were people out there reading our blog.   We enjoy writing and every now and then we get a comment which we think is fantastic.   I had an idea recently to see if I could find who might be looking in on our day to day ramblings.   I was actually surprised what I found and very humbled with some of the comments.  I want to share some links of those who are linking to us and what they say.

Homestead Basics
Past homestead skills combined with modern advancements makes urban Homestead Basics for Self Reliance today

The Expensive Tomato
This online journal is dedicated to show friends and family the progress I am making on my Aquaponics Greenhouse.

The Aquaponic Source
The Aquaponic Source was started in Boulder, Colorado in November 2009 by Sylvia and Alan Bernstein.

So if you are a reader please write us a comment on today's blog entry.  Even if its just your name and what part of the world you are from.  It would be great just to see from where our readers are.  And to those you who have written such wonderful things about what we are doing, Thank you.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Day 248

Wild, wet and windy is probably the only way you could describe the weather we have been having in the last few days.  With flash floods across most of our state and winds that have been bringing down trees, I was a little worried about what we would be faced with in the patch the next morning.  

We had winds last night of around 90km/h and when we woke the next morning we had surprisingly little damage.  The broad beans are on a small lean, as are some of the leaks but overall it survived the storm..

All this rain has cemented my thoughts that we need to get a much bigger tank.  At the moment we have a 240lt wheelie bin which I have setup to catch the rain. It helped in the early winter when we needed a small top up but we really need to catch a heap more so that over summer we can top up the fish tanks with water we harvest and not from the tap.

Today was a beautiful spring day, so I pottered around, tying things back, trimming off dead leaves etc and enjoying the sun.

We took a few trout out to see how the are looking and were surprised at just how big they are getting.   

You can see from these pictures that they spread across my whole hand.

Another job I have been wanting to do is give the tank a scrub.  It can get a little build up which I like to scrub back and release into the grow beds.  As I went about doing this job my 3yr old daughter took the camera and took a couple of pics.  She did a great job and I must say I really like this one of me.  

This is another one she took of the potatoes we are growing.  It's the one thing that is hard to grow in a AP grow bed so we decided to grow these in the straw that we take from the chook house.  It's a great circle of use and reuse and we will benefit from this with some fresh home grown spuds in a few months.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Day 246

We've just been announced as finalists in our local councils Sustainable Garden competition as part of their Sustainability Festival.

This is a great achievement for us as we have put a lot of work into the whole backyard with native plants etc that attract native insects and birds.  Its been designed to be part of the Aussie bush and low maintenance with only water from the annual rain fall to keep the plants going.

Obviously a big part of the yard is the Aquaponics System which with its many parts you have read about including compost, chickens etc all add up to a sustainable system.

We are very excited about attending the winner announcement next weekend and will let you all know how we go.