As indicated in previous reports, our objective is to create an "aquaponics" environment whereby aquaculture provides nutrients to plants grown in a hydroponic system. So far, our experiment with fish has been a disaster. The Tilapia is not surviving and our water tank temperature is barely reaching 10 degrees Celsius.
With most fish dormant or dying, we decided to focus on the hydroponic side of the equation. The plants we had moved into the dome are doing quite well, and so are our new seedlings. Although the plants are not likely to get much nutrient from our water, it was time to gain some experience on this growing technique.
|Our Strawberry is still fruiting and blooming in the dome|
|Preparing a floating "raft"|
|Inserting plant baskets|
|Our first production raft (lettuce in the foreground)|
We used this method to transfer our cabbage and wax bean seedlings. We even decided to transfer (and split) one of our fennel to these buckets. We did the same for a small Sage plant we salvaged from the raised beds. This is risky since it is usually difficult for a soil grown plant to be transferred to a hydroponic bed - although the reverse is not.
|Larger baskets with clay pellets simulate a "Dutch Bucket"|
|Fennel, Beans and Cabbages|
With the snow gone, it was also time for our crew to return to work on the manor.
This week we finally installed the remaining troughs. We also installed custom storm windows to protect our old Victorian window panes as well as provide some much needed additional insulation.
|Expertly done storm windows protect and display the original Victorian panes|
|Final work on the troughs|
Meanwhile we were able to continue on the "hardscape" of the landscaping. This includes properly delineating the parking space in front of the barn. The new armour stones will provide more parking and a much better defined parking area.
|New parking area on front of the barn|
|The back ridge slowly being transformed into terraces|
|Home made Christmas cookies|
|The Stollen has proven to be a favourite|
Started in early June, Chef has been adding berries and fruits to his rum pot as the Seasons changed. We started with local Strawberries, then added our own Ridge Berry Currants (Red and Black), Red Gooseberries, Mulberries, June Berries, Raspberries (Black, Purple, Red and Golden), Blackberries and Arctic Kiwi. If that were not enough, he also added local plums.
The net effect is superb and makes a decadent topping to Panettone or other sponge cakes, ice creams, etc. Anyone interested in Chef's rum pot for Christmas should drop by. He has canned a few jars just for our customers.
|Chef's rum pot...decadent!|