Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

>> Our meeting will be at the Evergreen State College Organic Farm. Google maps works great.

>> On the maps, the correct search term is The Evergreen State College Organic Farm. It is on Lewis Rd. As I look at it on the map, it is about 6 miles off of I-5 from Olympia. We'll see the Aquaponics set-up that Jessica is working with there, and I remember Joe talking about some interesting designs for moving water from the tanks to the growbeds, vertical and horizontal.

>> The seeds for the growing comparison will be discussed and, I believe, shared out to individuals who wish to grow for the comparison.

>> The comparison is about finding good ways to use the PNW Maritime growing environment to grow specific foods. This came out of some experiments Don Stark ran last year using the same packet of tomato seeds in the same greenhouse with the same fish-water, BUT different growing styles.
>> He found that flavor and sweetness (measured Brix*) varied by as much as 100% (from 4 Brix to 8 Brix) with how he grew the tomatoes. He used NFT and Wicking Beds, and the wicking beds (of just coir) were twice as sweet. The Brix Chart that Don Stark sent me shows it is possible to get to 12 Brix (Excellent) with tomatoes.

>> What we are looking for is a bigger comparison, and any style of growing, including in the garden (dirt). It can be in a greenhouse, cloche, unprotected, in water, in dirt, in compost, coir, pretty much any way you want to grow it. It does NOT have to be aquaponically grown.

>> All we ask is that you note what you are doing and what the results are. If you supplement your garden with compost, that would be good to know. If you use worm tea (either style [leaf application or root application]) then that would be good to know. If you do wicking, is it just coir, or a mixture of elements (like coir, compost, and wormcastings). There are so many ways to do it and we are looking for good ways to do it so you can know too.

>> You do not have to buy a refractometer, I will share. We will also want to know about your harvest bounty, that is, how many fruit and total weight of the crop. Yes, multiple harvests are OK, just add up the number of tomatoes, and the weights.

>> The "prize" is bragging rights, and the knowledge that you contributed to our very meager knowledge base. And, likely, that next year many of us will be using your way of growing tomatoes.

* degrees Brix refers to Brix Index Test. It is measured in "degrees Brix," but it is really a measure of the total crude mineral sugars in the juice using a refractometer. Degrees of Brix equals % of sugar in the juice. So, a Brix of 12 would mean that 12% of the juice is sugar. Brix refractometers are available to purchase online for less than $30 (Amazon, and others).

P.S. I have attached a copy of the Brix Chart.

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Replies to This Discussion

I know this is a long shot BUT I really want to come and I have a workshop on that day.  Any chance we could do it Saturday the 23rd or Sunday the 31st???

Hi all! I moved to Portland from Chicago about 6 months ago. Finally about to close on a house purchase in Woodstock neighborhood, which means I finally get to restart my system (and expand! - full basement and a backyard). Ran a small indoor system in Chicago, and worked with Phil Wolf of WolfPack Aquaponics on a AQ greenhouse in the suburbs.

At any rate, I would love to meet some of the folks here who are into this. I plan to come to the March 24th meeting. Is there anyone else from Portland going? It would just be a day-trip for me, since I have to get to work Monday. I'll negotiate with my spouse on car usage that day, in which case I could drive. Or if someone else is, and has room, I would be glad to contribute to expenses. 

I'm going from Portland and am happy to ride share.  I changed my schedule so I can go - Hooray!

My father and I plan to go, and I will have room for an additional two, possibly three if they don't mind being cozy.  Can split the gas cost. Heading out of portland/vancouver, wa area.

Hey Brady,

I private message'd you as well, but I'm interested in going. Was actually going to be driving some other(s), but plans changed, so I would be happy to pay my share and ride with you.

Brady A said:

My father and I plan to go, and I will have room for an additional two, possibly three if they don't mind being cozy.  Can split the gas cost. Heading out of portland/vancouver, wa area.


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