Hello Paul, Sorry that I have not written sooner, our days are crazy.
We just finished our 5 greenhouse (GH), difficult to do given our high seasonal winds.
Our entire facility is solar-powered, soon we shall erect our new 1000 watt wind turbine. We will need the additional power. Our house is a different solar system and we also power WWoofer Cove, this is our housing for seasonal workers/ students.
I believe that you have an interest in solar, aside from our background in Aquaponics, my wife and I use to have a solar company back in Quintana Roo, Mexico. All along the beach there are small to medium size hotels and no Federal Electric, so that is where solar and wind comes into play. We built alternative power and wind systems there for 6 years. Big wind turbines, 6000 watt models and lots of wind. For clarity, we left Mexico due the a problem with the Zeta Drug Cartel, so here we are, back in the states. It does requires us to adapt to a quite different climate, from hot and humid, to just plain HOT or as they say here "it may be hot, but it is a dry heat."
We will soon finish our new nursery, we're always in some degree of construction.
Our approach to Aquaponics is a bit different than others. we have the fish house (tilapia) , another for nutrient conversion. Then there is the three GH's where we grow horizontally/vertical, confusing, no. On each side there are rows of 3-4" tubes that continue on to the end of the structure, there are 3 tubes in each row. Now this is where it gets interesting, there are 3 sets of rows that rise vertically. Nutrient is pumped up and flows downward and sent back to the fish tanks, it is a synergistic approach, growing more in a lesser space.
This allows us to grow-out nearly 900 plants. Much of what we grow there is bouquet crops, Chilchapin (a extremely hot, flavorful pepper), basil, Cilantro and the like. Beyond the GH's are a series of raised beds where we grow Armenian Cucumbers, tomatoes, too many to list here. All of our produce is Organic and the product flavor is fantastic and we sell at our produce local Farmers Markets. Direct sales, no other better way to keep more of your profit.
Come fall we will convert over to winter crops for the raised beds and diminish our output in the GH's, sticking to cash crops, but raising enough for our consumption.
As meantioned earlier, it is hot here in the Tucson area, makes me quite glad that we have a pool for after hours use.
I am currently trying to catch a bite to eat while I answer emails on one Mac and preparing this email for you on another Mac. That is how the days are here...hectic. I realize how hectic it gets when I find myself running around the property with a iPad in one hand an the other hand steering my golf cart.
Well, enough of that, I must get back to work, thank God the days are longer.
Michael at Synergy Aquaponics
P.D Well, I look forward to hearing about your GH adventures and what approach you pursue in Aquaponics.
Thanks for the information, I would love to attend but not sure if I'm available that day. I was able to locate Lonny in the Members Section, sent him a friend request. Would love to make the next meeting.
Thanks for joining the Aquaponic Gardening community! I hope you find it a fun place to explore aquaponics. There is a real blend of experienced and new aquapons in this community, so please don’t hesitate to get in there and start asking questions. Everyone is quite happy to help out new members – no question is too basic.
A great place to start is to read the “How to Use This Site” link on the upper right corner, “Start Here” section of the Home page. You might also find the “Aquaponic Gardening Rules of Thumb” guidelines helpful (looks like you may have already found those).
Please participate and check in with us every day! We are constantly posting news about aquaponics and the good food movement.
Thanks again for joining us, and I look forward to getting to know you.