Tag Archives: Heirloom seeds

Ready for Fish

IMG_0018I have worked out most of the bugs I believe , and I am about ready to get the fish. I am planning on building a water heater using compost as the heat source, so that I can raise Talapia . But for now I am going to start with blue gill. I had a to do some work  getting the timing down on the two pumps. Ended up getting a different timer to run the pump for the grow beds. Now the system is running well. I did water checks the other day and all thee readings were in the proper ranges. I will go out and catch the blue gill so if there is a problem it wont be with a tank of fish that cost me very  much.

IMG_0023As you can see my celery has not bounced back from the transplant yet. This is the celery I planted the end of from store bought . It has done well since early in the summer we I put it in the other system. We have eaten off it for quite awhile.  Hopefully , now that the timing  is worked out it will come back.

IMG_0019IMG_0020IMG_0021IMG_0022  I added some tomato that I got from the volunteer plant I have coming up in one of the cinder blocks at the base of the Green House. This is also the strawberry that was in the first system.

IMG_0024IMG_0025IMG_0026IMG_0027 These are cayenne peppers that came out of the garden and a Coffer Lime tree. I am over wintering in the GH. The frog is just cool…..lol

IMG_0028Here is the volunteer tomato I have it tied up with some red tape going to see how big it gets. It already has blooms so we should have some hot house tomatoes soon.

IMG_0029My succulent balls are in here also I have to do some work with them once I get the benches built. That is my Avocado  tree it is also over wintering.

IMG_0030One of the changes I made was to run the return line from the grow beds to the drum that has the pump in it. The two are tied together (see front bottom ) but it pumps out faster than they equalize. So this way the one with the pump fills faster.

IMG_0031This is how I first tried but it didn’t work, so got another timer like the one with the multiple sockets. So this is how it looks now.IMG_0051IMG_0052

IMG_0041I have also move all the tomatoes into the one bed.IMG_0050Here you can see that the peppers are still bearing new fruit,  this is the middle of December here in NC and we have had several frosts . I still don’t have any heat in the GH but it stays above 50 F.

So now I need to find some time to go fishing and catch some gills. hopefully soon.

From my family to all of yours Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The Gravel Is In The Grow Beds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well that is the good news. I got the plumbing done, and the pump in to lift the water up hill to the grow beds. I also got the gravel in the beds. Most of it came from the first system , I took one half of it apart and reused that gravel, I hope it will still have the Biological filter and speed up the cycling process so I can get the fish in the tank. Like I said that was the good news.

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As you can see the Bell Syphons have been pulled out of the grow beds. They were not working and I decided to go another way . So the bad news was I had the gravel in the beds, now I had to take it all out again.

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I decided to try laying a water hose connected to the out let and protected that with a corrugated pipe.

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Well when I tested this it did not syphons as fast as I wanted it to. The problem seems to be the height of the outlet on the barrel, I use the bung hole.  Also the drain going to the holding tank was bigger than the hose so the that didn’t help.  So I went with just a simple elbow that syphons from the bottom of the bed.

Syphon drawing

This is a drawing to show what I ended up with. I didn’t get any pictures of this before I covered it up with the gravel. Basically you see the pick up tube coming in the barrel, the small gravel guard goes around this and the large gravel guard goes over all of it. I can watch the water rise in the large tube, to adjust the in flow.

Plumbed in With a few leaks

Well finally got out in the greenhouse today and worked on the system. Have been super busy lately, so haven’t been working out there.

But today I got the plumbing to the grow beds and the return to the holding tanks in.

Got all the bell syphons in the line from the pickle barrels and the return lines in.

That is where the went well part ended…lol

I was able to use the parts from the old system for the bell syphons

Here is how I tied the grow beds together to make sure they fill at the same rate.

The Duck weed tank full and draining

showing the intake for the Duckweed drain. So it will pull water from under the Duckweed and not drain it in to the fish tank.

This is the line to the grow bed almost full

Just as the water started to flow to the grow beds.

Water to the grow beds.

Here is where the good news stopped.  The water only made it to the first bed.  After I re-checked. the pipe ran up hill from here. So I will have to do a little re-plumbing. But other than that and a few leaks( every thing is dry fitted) it works well.

Skipped the Gym Today and Got Some Work Done

I have started going to the gym again , got to loose some of this weight and get back into shape. It has been going real good, I do a lot of the aqua aerobics and such , I have to do the low impact stuff, too many jumps and to much running every morning for PT took its toll on my joints. Missing a bunch of cartilage in various places. The pool is great I can get a great aerobic work out in and my joints don’t ache for three days.Any way having said all that let me tell you why I didn’t go today and stayed home to work on the system  I have been going and staying till 1000 or 1100 everyday, well when I came home I was beat and just really didn’t feel like getting out there and work. So today I got to work.

My old Miter Saw it gave up the ghost.

I got the carriage built for the grow beds and got a lot of the dry fitting done in the plumbing.

My plan called for four grow beds, but I made a slight miscalculation and only have room for three. So the end you see here on the right got cut off. Hope to use the fourth grow bed also. Just have to figure out where to put it.

Here are some of the project in the Greenhouse.

From the fish tank to the two pickle barrels that will go out to the grow beds.

Filling the tanks that the pump is in. these pump to the fish tank, and everything drains back to these.

Water pumped into fish tank.

The plumbing for the tank and on top for the Duck Weed

It is Really Coming Together Now

I have been working on the system just not documenting it. Had a little snag the other day. Burned up my old Miter saw, So had to go to Lowes and get a new one, ah shucks…lol. Well got all the lumber cut and partially assembled. I did all that I could in the drive way. It is a better work surface than the backyard, not such a grade.

My New Toy

The rails for the carriage

The rest of the carriage.

Yesterday I got the rails on the IBC to hold the Duck Weed tank.

I have gotten started on the plumbing. I have the fitting in the fish tank where the water will flow to the two pickle barrels.

Also in the pickle barrel coming in from the fish tank, and the connection of the the two pickle barrels.

SO that is where the project is right now . Tomorrow I plan on putting the carriage that will hold the grow beds . I think it will be easier to put it together inside the greenhouse.  we will see how that turn out.

Cleaning the Barrels

I got out and cut the barrels in half yesterday. Then today I washed the insides of them. At first I thought it would be harder than it was. The rusty looking stains that were on the inside and tops of the barrels actually came off very easily. Just used the dish soap and scrub brush that I used on the pickle barrels. That got most of it and then detailed with Mr. Clean errasers, and it turned out pretty good. 

Got More Barrels :oD

Went yesterday to Pink Hill NC to get the rest of the barrels I needed to complete the system. I pick up 2 of the blue barrels 55 gal,with the bung holes that will be cut in half to make the Grow beds.  

I also picked up 4 black pickle barrels, 60 gal ea.  Two of these will be in the system and 2 for rain barrels.

I got the pickle barrels all cleaned out and ready to go . The blue ones I did a little bit on them I will get them thoroughly after I have cut them in half.

These are the 2 that will be the rain barrels.

Here are the two pickle barrels in place .

My original system had a catastrophic failure Sunday. THe left bank of grow beds had been slipping slowly toward the pond.  So I needed to do something anyway , well one of the totes broke at the bottom and I was lucky I didn’t loose all the water. So I took the left bank out and the flood tank out. I piped the water directly to the right bank of grow beds. So they are now running continuously.

The rest of these are some plants I have brought into the green house because the nights are getting cooler.

The milk jugs are filled with water , part of the thermal mass.

OK thats it for today ,will start the plumbing tomorrow. Hopefully I will be able to get it up and running soon. Might be running on a extenion cord for a little bit , I will eventually get it wired …I know Eric I will call before I start tat  LOL..

Did you notice the volunteer tomato I have coming up out of the cinder block hole. I will keep it and see what it does. The rest are weeds and I will get rid of them.