Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners


Aloha everyone fronm the  land of paradise.  Everyone may not think it is paradise but to me it has been paradise since 1964 when my feet first toched Hawaiian soil.  I can remember almost 60 years later the very feeling I had when I stepped down from the airplane "My soul said you are home".  I left once for an extended period of time and regreted it for a lot of reasons.  One my health went to pot (deterioated) but most of all I mourned for 14 years for Hawaiil.  When I returned in 1998 my health returned and was very good until the last few years.  Just sufficent to say I suffered a lot of pain as I grew older.  Obesity had plagued me since around 50 yrs old.  I couldn't seem to lose weight.  Then one morning I woke up and a voice said stop eating wheat.  I did lost 60 lbs and most of my pain.  Then I began my aquaponic journey and started having WWOOFers and had so much fun that I forgot what I was told and went back to wheat. 
The weight returned, the pain came back 5 times greater than before.  I can honestly say to you that in the month of July and early August I felt like I would be in a wheel chair in 1 year.  I thought about a knee transplant I was obcessed with the pain and lack of motility.  The convention was comming up and I wanted so badly to go but I didn't know how I could make the plane ride.  Then one morni8ng the voice made its way back through the fog in my brain "Get off the wheat stupid".  I listened and found immediate relief.  I did a 41 day Juice Feast and by the time I got on the airplane I was 20 years younger.  I

This leads me to a great big Mahalo Nui Loa to all the people that worked on the convention.  I was trully blessed by every moment of it.  The speakers were OH So Good.  The interaction between everyone there was wonderful.  You guys out did yourselfs.  I don't think we realize how much work went into making that come off.  Thank you all for the hardwork.  I am very greatful for being able to participate in such a great advent.  I went on to visit my daughter in MO.  this was a blessing except one must be careful of what they eat.  I went to a farmers market in MO and they were giving out shitake mushrooms to eat raw.  Well I happen to be one of the 1% who can not eat raw shitake mushrooms.  I broke out in a full body rash that lasted for 7 days.  But still it all was a blessing except for the rash.

Aquaponics this past year has been a joy.  I have 19 tanks between 180 and 300 gallons and all the food I can eat.  We have participated in so many events.  We found favor with some organizations and took our mobile show on the road.  My new WWOOFer (Kelii) from New Jersy came in April and fell  in love with aquaponics.  He started making systems put of aquariums and what success.  We carried our fish and systems to all these events.  We used a solar generator to keep them running.  The children loved to see the fish.  Believe it or not we never lost a fish with all that moving around.  We never took them out of there water. We just drained some into a bucket so it wouldn't drain out and put it back in when we got to where we were going.  What a blast.  We teach 3 classes a year at the Honolulu Board of Water Supply thanks to Chris Schrup of this site and the Association and World Water Day.  By the way Kelii just graduated from my farm to move next door to Kahumana farm as the Assistant Farm Manager and he is in charge of Aquaponics.  Talk about proud.  Chris can tell you about Kahumana's system.  They started out with a 6000 gal tank and absolutely no experience or knowledge.  They have had several disasters the last of which killed 300 fish.  Kelii has his work cut out for him. 

I put in one of Glen Martines's air pumps before I went to the convention and it has been pumping away ever since.  A 24 watt air pump pumps water to an 8' by 4" cinder bed and kekeps the bell siphon working like clockwork.  It is the answer to a lot of energy problems.  I hooked up a pump to my solar generator and ran it for 25 hours(no solar panel) it took 80% of the battery reserve.  I hooked up the air pump for the same amount of time and it used up 20% of reserve.  As soon as I get money I am changing out as many as I can.  Never have to clean the pump, no clogs you can't beat it. 

I still have a dream of using aquaponics to bless others.  I saw the article Sahib put on facebook about the dementia patients.  I would like to find a way to be able to have wounded warriors come and work as therapy or to grow food for cancer patients and still promote aquaponics as something everyone can do and do it very economically.  Everyday I get better at building something out of nothing.  We are also promoting permaculture and Korean Natural Farming at Happyponics.  We started building a KNF chicken house out of as much recycled material as possible.  What fun. There was a blog on the site one day from someone who went through a big storm with no power on the east coast I think He call it "What I learned after the storm" One line about not having people rip off all yopur food if shortages happened struck me and I won't forget it.  He said "Learn to grow 50 things that people do not know are edible"  I am not up to 50 yet but making headway.  I invite you all to Hawaii to graze across my acre and you will eat things people have called weeds as long as I can remember.  Thank God for Permaculture who believes there are no weeds just plants in the wrong space.

To end this before my fingers wear out.  I want to say thank you to Sylvia Bernstein who started this site.  She does a lot more than I do but I believe that our passions are about equal when it comes to aquaponics.  You are one in a million Sylvia.  I am glad you are younger than me  so you will keep the fire burning.  Thanks to all the members here who help so many people I don'[t believe Sylvia thought it would get this big.  You are all a blessing.  I heard Kobus was coming back.  I have missed you Kobus. 

So to end it I am thankful for my health that has returned , for this site ,for aquaponics in general because it is so easy to become addicted and I am especially thankful to God who makes all things possible.  Keep it up everyone and bring good healthy food to everyone you can.  See you at next years convention



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Comment by Vlad Jovanovic on November 25, 2012 at 2:32pm

Raychel you've been (and continue being) an inspiration to many. Keep up the good work you are doing, and keep enjoying the heck out of life while doing it

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