Monthly Archives: January 2014

Urban Farm Fanatic – We’re Back From Our Second Long Hiatus ;)


01Yes, yeees… I realize I’ve been quite terrible at keeping an updated blog as of late. Life seems to get in the way of my fondest hobby.

In the interim, I’ve taken a stab at growing many things in the Aquaponics greenhouse. Some meeting with great success (eggplant, beets, radishes, leafy greens, kale, marigolds, cabbages, basil).. others, not so much (squash, watermelon, red peppers, strawberries). Lessons learned from this past 6 months include the following:

  1. Aquaponics, like soil farming is dependent on ‘when to plant’. Just because you grow in an AP greenhouse, does not give one licence to grow anything at any given time.
  2. If at first you kill off you first batch of fish, try, try again! I lost all of my Talapia within the span of a 3 month period. My best guestimate is it had to do with a parasite getting in to the system. Knowing that different fish react different ways, I switched up my next batch of fish and went with Gold Fish. Benefits include that they are all still alive, plus, they are much easier to track in the tank due to their gold color. Not edible of course, but my main focus is on the greens as I collect on those items almost every other day. With fish, you are looking at a harvest every 9-12 months. I found it best just to keep them happy and healthy little poopers. The plants are the real reward 😉
  3. A greenhouse in Phoenix may seem like a good idea at first, but there is really only 1 to 2 months to worry about a cold snap causing frostbite, so it is best just to cover my plants (I’ve been using my shade cloth).
  4. The other thing I’ve learned, is that a PVC Canoli in my backyard is a bit of an eyesore. Plans are in the works to swap that PVC/film structure with a Pergola to add an aesthetic to the backyard as well as add to the value of our home (with a Pergola I can also still utilize my shade cloth in the Summers, as that is where the real danger lies each year to my plants).

As with all updates, this needs to be a good one after such a long stretch of inactivity. So, thankfully, the Holidays have been kind. I made a concerted effort to break out my tools and get cracking at expanding my grow space! 🙂

What’s that you say???

Why yes, I have deemed it necessary to expand my existing grow area by doubling it!

What you see below is essentially 2 additional beds that are 3’W x 8’L x 1’T, similar to the two original beds I made with some slight modifications to help increase strength in the corner sections. Once more, this is very  simple construction… 2 x 4’s, OSB board and a lot of deck screws.

The next steps will be to cut a hole in each for the siphon and overflow. Then add in some pond liner.

After that will be setting up the foundations, leveling and finalizing the plumbing of the beds. Then adding the lava rock.

More to come!!!

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