I have been looking into various ways to have 4-season crops. Trying to heat conventional green houses with oil or electric can be cost prohibitive when you are on a fixed income. As a disable vet I also have other limitations that I need to work with.
Gardening is my second love, aircraft was my first. It has been a long road to reach a point where I can once more begin building a sense of self and identity. That being said have patience with me please - I am not a social butterfly but have isolated myself over the past 10yrs away from people.
Aquaponics appears to be one the healthiest methods of growing food and very versitle for my needs and future plans. As far as whether or not I can actually grow anything by that method remains to be seen, but I happen to have the Christmas cactus that was my moms; now +30yrs old(she died in 1991) and until it fell of my porch railing my Thia Dragon pepper was producing really well going into it's 3rd winter. Poor thing is now a stubby 6"' tall! in recovery. I also have seed pods on several of the other so called Chrismas cactuses that I have crossed.
I have researched the GMO issues and try to keep up on both sides of the issue. Myself, I use only organic and heirloom seeds and stay as far away from packaged food as possible that have any corn, soy, non-cane sugars, and limit the grain feed meats I eat. I have a pretty good list of seed sources for anyone interested.
Since I am on disability from the military, I have time to research information for folks or maintain a particular topic discussion/blog if anyone likes: such as feed recalls, GMO, etc.
I will pursue my aquaponics systems, but like most it will be a piece at a time - stating I hope next month with the book. I have seen so many great ideas and setups on here already. Oh and I have had many aquarium over the years starting about 7-8yrs old - as I am now a somewhat decrepit 50 that has been a few yrs. My 10 gal is currenty housing mosses and ferns.....
My idea is to build a system where the fish tank resides in the basement, below the casement window, accessing the greenhouse to be built onto the southside of my home. There will be water available already and since I use hotwater baseboard, I can set up a new zone to run through stone/growing media or concrete(not planters) to provide additional heating for the cold nites. Having the fish in the basement provides a certain temp stability which will help with supplement warming. I also have wood heat as additional heat source.
Hmmm while I am thinking of this - why not build a float system for winter use...well it could also work with media I suppose, but run the hwbb lines thru and have the furnace zone thermostat set to control the temp of the growing bed. This will prevent heat loss as waterflows thru the system from the fishtank ---media---back to the fish.
To use a drip sys I would need to have a filtration setup to keep the nozzles from clogging....It will better control water and nutrient flow which come to think of it is kind of irrelavent with a fish system......ahhhhh so much to consider.