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What's up with that?

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Steve,

Your comments about these waste items in high demand makes me laugh. I was just trying to explain to a new gardener the value of worm castings...I'm running my fingers through it showing the consistancy, etc. We're also using guano and hoping to compare results. This new gardener commented on how comfortable we've become working in the waste products of a number of critters. It just goes to show how people can adjust and adapt when we want to accomplish something.

Damon,

Sorry, haven't had time to research, but those gammarus are "scuds" right? For all my years living in CO, scud patterns were one of my most effective flies in the high mtn lakes. Don't the AP fish eat them?

yes, if the gammarus make it into the fish tanks, the fish will probably eat them. they thrive in the solid settling tanks and in the raft troughs.

Chip, you might just be a compost whacko if you truly enjoy running your fingers through poop (well worm castings)

  I'm a fellow compost whacko and I couldn't make my seed starting blocks without the worm castings.

Hi TCL,

I think you're onto something...I'm getting there quickly:)

Wonderful read guys!

I not only understand the idea of zero input system but am also working to achieve the same goal but without access to equipment and universities  to help me quantify, my theories are mere observations. How much transferable energy can we get from the sun alone? How many nutrient cycles do we need to balance a solar input system to get commercial quantities (joules) of wholesome food output? I believe you are on the right track but I don't think we should dare take a chance of using vast areas to farmscape, for I do not believe we are close to discovering/ understanding the necessary dynamics.

What It seems you would like to do is duplicate and segregate the different functions of a well balanced fish pond. My goals run on similar lines which bring me to the idea of integrating multi trophic agriculture and multi trophic aquaculture with bio-ponics or what I call hydro-organics. 

We first have to understand where and how our chosen crops come from and their position/ purpose in the nutrient cycle. AP is only the simplest form of IBS (integrated bio systems) where waste from one crop serves as fodder for another. I started with studying soil science and ended up with a twelve teir IBS a bit over a decade ago. From there I developed (am developing) an even more comprehensive system I term as IMTAP/HO (Integrated multi-trophic aquaponics integrated with hydro-organics) AKA (MTAp/ multi trophic Aquaponics), which I believe is a most intensive yet sustainable form of agriculture to date. This method is best utilized in a community setting where community waste is recycled through different forms of composting.

MTAp approach is to create a balanced ecosystem management approach to land based food production integrating agriculture and aquaculture for environmental sustainability (biomitigation), economic stability (product diversification and risk reduction) and societal acceptability (better management practices). 

I am in the process of writing a blog on this but will have to wait until I finish jumping through hoops for my new farm's business proposal.

I do apologize on not being able to write more at this time.

Cheers

PS I just got two contracts to consult for two farms in Inner Mongolia, totaling one thousand acres. We'll see how that turns out eh

Tell me if I'm wrong, but as I understand it, this "input-less" system simply means "zero-money-spent-on-fish-feed" system ... Which seems totally possible in the context of permaculture. Even a small family serving permaculture acre produce enough animal and vegetal left over to be converted into fish feed. Of course this processing from left over to fish feed equals work. But permaculture is all about being organised in a way that reduce the amount of man-hours. Then there's the BSF, the worms, duckweed etc... Cray fishes and such who can poo for what is basically compressed lawn cuttings (rabbit-feed). Depending on your climate, a led light over the tank can attract flying insects for feed if the fishes you grow are adapted to this kind of food. Where i live this system would probably bring more insects than the fishes could eat and lead to water pollution... but reducing the time the light is on can curb that. As Carey said we want to run for free on the sun's energy (like the planet does), so sunny climates will have an advantage ...

Actually "input-less system" might sound revolutionary seen from an AP perspective but it is completely obvious from a permaculture one because it's exactly what it's core principle is all about. Design to replace inputs... (work, maintenance and nutrients inputs)

Anyway, this is what I'll shoot for   :)

Well if you expand the "system" beyond just the Aquaponics system, then you gain your inputs for the aquaponics from your greater permaculture system.  But you have to include yourself into the system since if you are eating the produce from the system, then your waste needs to be recycled back into the greater system in order to avoid mining the soil of nutrients without replacing them. 

:-)

 Total integration.....

TCLynx said:

Well if you expand the "system" beyond just the Aquaponics system, then you gain your inputs for the aquaponics from your greater permaculture system.  But you have to include yourself into the system since if you are eating the produce from the system, then your waste needs to be recycled back into the greater system in order to avoid mining the soil of nutrients without replacing them. 

This simple Humanure concept in itself is enough to change the world remarkably for the better. Just think of the change this can make. Turning a TOXIC and damaging waste into something quite beneficial, Kinda organic fertilizer? Also what would be the water savings and electric/pump savings for the maybe 4 billion people with flush toilets. Like I was mentioned earlier the increasing demand for the Hog waste here. The same could happen to to our waste. Kinda gross topic but if aged and handled properly, would be safe and we would get used to the change. After coming home from traveling with a belly ache it really hits home. Believe caused by contaminated water.  I know some of you are working on this. So much more needs to be done to make this easy. Develop procedures equipment and systems, to become acceptable in 1st world countries. Third world countries could implement some simple systems now, with some training recycled barrels and ideas. The water supply would soon improve dramatically. Unrelated to Aquaponics but again I just had to say it.

TCLynx said:

Well if you expand the "system" beyond just the Aquaponics system, then you gain your inputs for the aquaponics from your greater permaculture system.  But you have to include yourself into the system since if you are eating the produce from the system, then your waste needs to be recycled back into the greater system in order to avoid mining the soil of nutrients without replacing them. 

Ok if you want to talk about Humanure there is a handbook already written on the subject.

Here is a link to my old web site with a bunch of Composting links at the bottom of the page http://www.tclynx.com/Composting/

An old version of the handbook is available to read free online

Or you can get the current addition THE-HUMANURE-HANDBOOK

And there is a message board http://www.jenkinspublishing.com/messages/

Joseph has been saying for years how it is really silly for us all to be excreting our waste into a nice clean bowl of drinking water and then flushing those valuable nutrients away where they become a pollutant rather than using them to close the nutrient cycle and keep our soils strong and nutritious.  Waste water treatment actually doesn't do that good a job of killing the pathogens or removing the pollutants.  Proper composting does a far better job and avoids the pollution problems while also saving the precious water.

Now I know few in the 1st world will take to a sawdust bucket toilet instead of the flusher but in many locations without the indoor plumbing, humanure composting can help greatly with sanitation while also building the soil.

"We can change the corner of our world AND WHEN THE CORNERS MEET IN THE MIDDLE THE WORLD WILL BE CHANGED.  "

 .

I love this, Raychel!

That's an excellent and practical philosophy.

I agree with your perspective on the fish, too.

If I only cared about raising produce

I would simply expand my dirt garden.

Interacting with and caring for my fish

is important to the health of my soul.

 .

Damon, Chip said it well-

you have some great ideas and insights for large-scale operations,

but the family-sized system has its own unique goals and requirements

and, to me, the fish are a crucial component.

 .

I am encouraged to see that people with diverse goals and methods

can and do share over-riding concerns for the benefit of humanity and our planet.

I feel privileged to be part of the AP community,

just as I was to be part of the changes of the 1960s and '70s.

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