Aquaponic Gardening

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Rain water collection ...the good and the bad...Record rain in sunny Oregon for March. We're back to grow'n agin!

So spring is supposed to be here, but it's more like A monsoon season, we have had more rain in Oregon than I can ever remember, so maybe I jumped the gun on my rain barrel project, I put a few cinder blocks down added an old steel shelf, cut a hole in one of my downspouts off the back of my house, I only planned on using 1 55gal barrel for starters, but my math was off a bit. So if it rains lightly all day the barrel will be almost full in 1 day; which was cool. But if it rains over an inch in one day, aprox 600gallons runs down my spout, and my little collector is full in about thirty minutes! what a mess I have built,
I watered my whole back patio,and washed about 200lbs of gravel about 200 ft down my driveway. Argh! its taken me three weeks to move it all back.

The Good news

I have been able to add about 120 gallons of rain water to my system this month, (which after learning how to manage the runoff, has been free) and hopefully this will pay off by mid summer. on my utility bill was about $50.00 extra each month for the summer.

back on track again, my wife vetoed any wood heat for our hobby green house. but it has been warm enough we have made it through the winter.

best news, my swiss chard survived and is now flourishing, we eat some each week. all my grow beds are in full swing, in the last two weeks we have got snap peas, green beans, cilantro, tomatias, red onion shoots, parsley and baby broccolli all from seed to take root and boy the growth is impressive. we are still only useing goldfish, but we have no leaks and we are having fun (together) in our hobby greenhouse. Plus we have added Dirt pot plants for the wife's outside areas if it ever dries out.

we still can't decide what fish to raise, I have been keeping the water temp around 62-64 degrees, and we have about 650 gallons of water moving around through the system;so goldfish will do for now. I
will post a few pictures the next sunny day. cheers

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Comment by Jim Fisk on April 4, 2014 at 12:20pm

Trout. Perfect if you can keep it between 50 and 70F. We do and we eat delicious Trout and they are very happy.

We dropped to 20F below zero twice this Winter and our GH froze solid at 16F in there but the system water carried all our Winter crops thru. Apparently the warm roots saved the day as the greens were as hard as glass but thawed out and never skipped a beat. SW Chard, brocs, lettuce, kale, parsley, cabbage, etc. all came thru no problem much to my surprise and delight. I figured a total loss when I walked in there and saw the devastation in the morning. Don't even ask how it happened

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