Total Pageviews

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What Is and What Will Be In My Greenhouse

Beginning in April of 2011 I began to make plans to turn my existing greenhouse into an aquaponics garden.  At this point, late November of 2011 I have accomplished an initial harvest in the grow bins pictured on the lower part of the graphic above.  I am still harvesting tomatoes from the three bins pictured on the lower right and herbs including beet greens, mint, parsley and dill from the three bins pictured on the lower left.  I have yet to experience a success at growing fish.  State regulation of fish suitable for eating are a major block to stocking my pond with trout or other edible fish and since I have decided that koi will best suit, and I don't want to waste the lives of anymore fish until I have my other items in place, I have sustained my plants with occasional supplements of chelated iron and other minerals and soluble plant food. 
I am now ready to set up the next two sections of the growing area.  These include hanging tubes for vine plants along the north wall of the green house and trays for lettuces and similar plants along the center.  The growing trays are made of rain gutter with an electrical cable along the bottom to heat the water as it flows past the roots.  The lettuce will be planted in coco fiber contained in plastic cups. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Several Ways to Harvest Sunlight

I have essentially finished my 'winter coop' which is adjacent to my greenhouse.  The picture above may require some explanation.  Under the corrugated polycarbonate sheet that constitutes the roof of my small chicken coop are two separate systems for harvesting solar power.  On the left is a solar panel with the battery pack above it.  This gathers electrical energy to power the 75 watt incandescent bulb that turns on for several hours in early morning with a timer, adding necessary light and heat.  On the right is a black painted panel on which I've placed 36 cheap water bottles.  During the day the black panel heats up the water in the bottles which is stored as thermal energy and released gradually as night falls.