Thursday, March 22, 2012

2012/03/22 - Short and sweet

No pics this time, just an update on where we are.

The critter is still unknown, untrapped, and unwelcome.

The greenhouse will not be replaced.  We shopped around, looked at every option from prebuilt to kit to DIY, factored in the discount I can get on glass since I work at a window manufacturer, calculated the DIY with our company windows at a deep employee discount, every possible variation we could think of.  And the lowest we could get the cost for the size greenhouse we want was still *way* over our budget.  More than twice what we're willing to spend even with dad's help.  So instead we're going to work at making our existing greenhouse more weather- and critter-proof.  We can probably get it fairly well protected for less than $200.  That's be our project over the next month or two.

We got the rafts sized correctly and into the raft bed, though there are no plants in there yet.  That same "leg" of the system also has the half-barrels and I'm pleased to say the tomato plants in there are thriving.  The cilantro, basil, and strawberries we planted last month are doing well.  The lettuce appears to have been completely demolished by the critter.  But it's just lettuce - I can replace that easily enough.  I really just wanted it in there to help keep the water healthy.

As for prior plants: the old strawberry plant has berries on it!  One will likely be eaten (by US not the critter!) this Saturday.  The broccoli was so ravaged by the critter I want to pull it out.  Fiance wants to prune it back and let it try again.  I'll probably go with his plan, since I really need the plants in there to balance the system.  The leeks I hadn't harvested are ridiculously huge.  I'd say 3" diameter.  I won't eat them at this point - they'd probably be too fibrous.  But I'll leave them there to soak up nitrates until I get more plants going.

The fish are big.  And definitely ready for harvest.  And I don't *think* I'm being squeamish about their fate as dinner.  But we haven't harvested any yet - even though it would help balance the system while the plant volume is so low.  It's a messy job, and our neighbors have volunteered to help clean fish, so I'm putting it off until we have some warm weather and they don't have plans.

We had snow last weekend, so all my fine plans for garden work went out the window.  But this weekend is likely to be nice, and I don't have any plans for Saturday, so I think we'll finally get some more work done in there.  Hopefully my next update includes pictures of a raft bed so full of plants you can't see the rafts.  :-)
And possibly we'll haul out a fish or three.


  1. Hi Monday's Child .. thanks for 'outing yourself' :) on my blog. It's nice to know who is reading from the back of the book (LOL). Do you mind if I link your aquaponic blog to mine? I'd love to see your progress and how this all works. Keep up the good work.

  2. Hi! Thanks for visiting me and I would be honored if you linked to me! Though I'm a bit embarrassed at the current state of things. The winter and the critter have been a bit demoralizing and it's been hard to get moving again. But spring has sprung and I'm itching to get going again! I hope you'll enjoy my blog as much as I enjoy sharing my progress.

  3. This whole aquaponics idea is amazing. I've seen it done large scale for community gardens on PBS.

  4. Pity the critter isn't an orc that we could all take turns whacking. Your gaming friends are just useless in real life, huh?

    I'd like to know more about that community AP garden. There is a small community garden in my city. They've expressed an interest in expanding.

  5. bwahahahaha, seriously? an Orc reference in your comments? I'm liking you more and more, girl. I was just thinking about your place last week and wondering how you are doing. Sorry about the darn critter, that just stinks!

    Oh! We are putting in a greenhouse this fall. I can hardly wait. Not aquaponic just yet, but it's going to happen eventually. For now, I'll settle for more dirt to plant in year round.

  6. Mary, you'll have to post pictures of your new greenhouse. I can't wait to see it!

    The critter is resourceful. He has managed to get food out of the cat-sized trap without triggering it. He managed to get food out of the raccoon-sized trap. He got food from the center of the glue traps (I surrendered to fiance's desire to just get the *&%$ critter already). Now I'm trying to figure out how to just wall in the bottom 3 feet or so.

    It's either that or I get to sit out there at night with a flashlight and a bb gun.

    So far every weekend has been either booked or cold. Keep your fingers crossed that Sunday is nice. Then we'll get back out there and work again. I can't wait!