Aquaponic Gardening

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Aquaponics as Therapy for your Over Worked Mind and Body

I came home from work this afternoon totally exhausted.  I have to do all the chores before I can consider lying down.  Dogs to feed, cat to feed, two pot bellied pigs to feed just to name a few things.  I have to run to the neighbors and pick up compost material, some one is coming at 630 pm to get some duckweed Oh and I forgot 19 tanks of fish to feed along with 4 nets of fry to feed.  All pumps have to be checked as well as all water levels, look at the plants and see how they are progressing.  Oh there is baby fish in tank 8, get the net scoop them out put them in net 4.  Then take a long time just to stare at the 1 in black and gold beautiful baby fry in net 1 and compare them to net 2 who were hatched  2 weeks later.  I am totally excited that the fry in net 1 have eaten 1 oz of duckweed in 24 hours.  I measure out 1 oz more and give it to them knowing that before I go to work in the afternoon tomorrow they will have eaten it.  

I wander over to system 19 and look at the beautiful fish swimming in the clear water because David Waite told me how to put my pump in a bucket and the stuff gets pumped to the grow beds.  The five grow beds of volcanic volcanic ash have been planted just a month yet we picked 2 bean off it today, we have been eating swiss chard, mint, and cucumbers for a week.  It is LIFE right before your eyes.  I marvel at how Glen's bucket siphon works without a flaw.  I think of the delight my son in law got in building it.  It is all made of recycled material but as strong as ox.  My son in law had a large tumor of the lining of the brain taken out 2 years ago and he is finding therapy in aquaponics.  

I check out Matt's engineering miracle tanks 14-17.  We have just redone the beds.  We removed all gravel and put the back end of the bed on blocks so it won't keep tipping.  We changed the gravel for cinders with a little gravel (much lighter).  We replanted all beds.  The vegetables are thriving We even took out the basil set it aside and then put it back in.  The leaves never flinched and the beat goes on.  I look down into the four tanks, the water stays crystal clear and the fish are thriving.  They are so beautiful you can just watch them forever.  People talk about bully fish, I never see that happening.  I change out there hyacinths for fresh ones.  The destroy them as they eat all parts,  I see all of these things and I marvel.

Oh here come the people for the duckweed.  They walk around with me and examine all the systems.  I never get tired of showing people around.  They get their duck weed and I give them a little azola also.  They offer to pay but my biggest joy comes in sharing with others.  I just made a deal with my tree trimming friend that he trim all my big trees that overlap my land and keep my trees from growing for keeping his family in fish.  When he brings me  wood chips his 3 year old is always with him he asks his dad if they can get some pish.  What a blessing to see that little boys eyes light up when you catch a few fish for them.

Yes aquaponics is therapy for the mind and body.  I am ready to return to the house totally refresh even though I just did 3 hours of chores amazing.  Oh I forgot to feed MR Slow that is what my grand son call the turtle.  My advice is to spend some time with your fish watch them swim through the water, watch them compete for the food, sit and listen to the falling water it is good for the soul.  Look at all the vegetables growing, Think how good they taste and how you can share with others.  Plant a few roses in your beds or troughs and look at the flowers amongst the vegetables.  

If you can come away from this with anger or depression I feel sorry for you.  I only come away filled with enthusiasm and ideas running through my head about what to do tomorrow.  I hope all of you get the same feeling and share it with your friends so they can have their own therapy session along with some food.

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Comment by Jake Schneider on September 15, 2011 at 1:25pm

Sahib, Raychel,  I'm telling ya. Your sitting on a gold mine!  Start your "AquaRetreats and Therapy", build it up into a business.  Then you can provide therapy for Vets for free!  Sahib, you could start a "Zen Gardening Class" for the elderly community or gardening clubs.  Talk about alternative revenue streams!

Comment by Sahib Punjabi on September 9, 2011 at 6:39pm

Namaste Raychel Ji,


Would you believe that my insurance customer who visited my small AP garden came by the office today and enquired whether I would allow him to come tomorrow. He said he needs the "Tonic" that my Aquaponic garden provided him last as you rightly state " Yes aquaponics is therapy for the mind and body."


God bless,

Comment by Sahib Punjabi on September 3, 2011 at 12:36pm

So present just trying one person at a time...


God bless


Comment by Raychel A Watkins on September 3, 2011 at 12:27pm
OK Sahib lets start a new movement.  Actually my idea is to find someone who will translate this to our brain injured veterans.  Just imagine how they could restore there brain to normal function and have good visions instead of the horrors of war that must be imbedded in there.  I only wish I was younger.
Comment by Sahib Punjabi on September 3, 2011 at 12:19pm

Namaste Rachel.


Just spent a few hours in my mini AP garden. One of the best organic gardeners I know came by and was just blown away with all that was there..."you are growing Swiss Chard!'...Boy! I found never grow that!'. Around the similar time, one of my Insurance customers came over.


He is retired and during his visit to my office had complained about how bored and stressed out he was as there was nothing to do...he could not go out to tend his garden as it is far too hot. He was starting to get into silly quarrels with his wife as a result! Well, I mentioned to him that my stress relief session at present is "Free" and will be from 9.00am to 12.30 pm tomorrow morning...and it would show him a new way to garden. 


Needless to say, he was totally amazed at my small AP set up and all the sounds and sight. After a short tour, I asked him if he wanted to get his hands dirty. A Big smile came over his face...well that was the only hint I needed, I put him to work in transplanting lettuce. He spent the next two or more hours totally immersed in his work, only stopping occasionally to ask the similar questions all of us Aquapons get asked by someone seeing your set up the first time. Well, when it was time to call it a day, he was so happy and asked if he could come over again. "Thank you...I am so relaxed. This is beautiful. I'm definitely going to tell my wife...she is not going to believe me". Whit a happy smile on his face, he took his leave.


So you see Raychel, not only is AP Therapy and stress relief for me, it appears to work Magic on any one who comes in contact with it...Now adding a Spa or having a beautiful setting such as yours can only add to this treatment :-)


God bless, 

Comment by Raychel A Watkins on September 3, 2011 at 12:15pm

Now is that a fun filled vacation or not?


Comment by Raychel A Watkins on September 3, 2011 at 12:14pm
Finish up with a tour of the beautiful Waianae coast
Comment by Raychel A Watkins on September 3, 2011 at 12:12pm
How about another trip to turtle beach
Comment by Raychel A Watkins on September 3, 2011 at 12:11pm
another pair of WWOOFers
Comment by Raychel A Watkins on September 3, 2011 at 12:09pm
they can meet some of our fun filled , hard working WWOOFers

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