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PostPosted: Aug 4th, '11, 12:26 
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Veges growing in blue metal bed includes self sown celery.
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Mike explains how the plants are growing in straight pea gravel in this bed, they include basil, celery and leeks. I do think that most people would have been impressed with the system at Westfield Park Primary School. Some had never seen or heard of aquaponics and there eyes were opened on this day. But there was certainly more to see and learn about.

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PostPosted: Aug 4th, '11, 12:29 
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The latest addition to the system has been the sunken insulated 2000 litre fish tank. Guests were impressed when the trout came up for thie food on the day.
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PostPosted: Aug 4th, '11, 12:34 
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Guests looking over the aquaponics system.
The Stepahnie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation attracted over 40 interested people for their tour with Stephanie to a few local schools that are involved in the program. Each of the schools has a garden specialist as well as a kitchen specialist to provide the program where children are learning to grow and cook, serve and enjoy their own produce.
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There is still way more to see.

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PostPosted: Aug 4th, '11, 12:39 
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The vege gardens are amazing, full of produce, lots of bees and hoverflies, which is of course the sign of a healthy garden. Bug control is no problem as there are hundreds of children that pick off the pesky critters and can feed them to the fish. The rhubarb plant was an absolute giant.

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PostPosted: Aug 4th, '11, 12:43 
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The flowering plants that are left to go to seed attract beneficial bugs to the garden, and are an integral part of a healthy eco system.

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PostPosted: Aug 4th, '11, 13:24 
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Mike explained to everyone how the vandalism in the school had dropped over time as the children became more respectful and took ownership and pride in what they had been involved with. He thought that they had some success when someone actually broke in to steal veges :dontknow: Mike credited the children with building the beds and doing all the work, but I have to tell you that they have had some expert guidance and support from him and the school principal who are driving forces behind the projects.

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Mike gave step by step instructions on how to build a wicking bed and there were many teachers taking notes. Most of the people had never heard of wicking beds and were very keen to see how it was done.
The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation is all about providing education about healthy eating, showing where the food comes from and gaining enjoyment and pleasure from sharing their efforts. There are some teachers that make a difference above and beyond the call of duty and Mike is certainly one of those teachers. His skills in woodworking have allowed the children to put together the decking for the AP system and the raised beds in the dirt garden. He said that it would have been one thing for the children to arrive at school on a Monday and the raised beds were in, but it is another thing for them to drill the pipe and install the liner for the wicking bed. These lessons are sure to have impacted students that have been in his care and I believe it will make a difference to those children in their future career choices. It was very inspiring and gave me goosebumps realising what a difference he makes, particularly as we have witnessed the progress through our involvement and online forums.
Then there is the kitchen!

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PostPosted: Aug 4th, '11, 13:29 
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Part of the program requires that there will be a kitchen and a dining area. The kitchen was fabricated by a local TAFE and installed by the school and helpers as a way of saving money and involving their community. (Correct me if I am wrong here Mike) Congratulations Westfield Park Primary School- to all involved a fantastic achievement! :cheers:
Keep up the good work :thumbright:

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PostPosted: Aug 4th, '11, 13:57 
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Inspirational stuff Burnsy :thumbleft: - keep it up !

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PostPosted: Aug 4th, '11, 16:41 
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8) , very 8)

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PostPosted: Aug 4th, '11, 19:00 
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Looks great!!

Matt

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systems
http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=6782
solar system.http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=7706
Chilly tankhttp://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=9917


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PostPosted: Aug 8th, '11, 12:43 
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faye wrote:
Part of the program requires that there will be a kitchen and a dining area. The kitchen was fabricated by a local TAFE and installed by the school and helpers as a way of saving money and involving their community. (Correct me if I am wrong here Mike) Congratulations Westfield Park Primary School- to all involved a fantastic achievement! :cheers:
Keep up the good work :thumbright:


Thanks for the big write up, pictures and support Faye. The kitchen was actually entirley fitted out by Tim and myself following the TAFE making up the carcasses excepting for the electrical and plumbing :thumbleft: .

Next big project is a chicken coup and run.

We are very proud of what we have achieved, however this is only the begining. My dream is to see food being produced in the majority of the school gardens with the entire school community being actively involved. This is our stumbling block at the moment as we really struggle with volunteers so if anyone is interested in vlolunteering in the garden or kitchen on an ongoing basis please let me know.

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My system http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=5478
School System http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=5011
Backyard Farminghttp://backyardfarming.com.au/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=281


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PostPosted: Aug 8th, '11, 13:45 
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:cheers: awesome

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PostPosted: Aug 8th, '11, 13:57 
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Obviously been sitting on your ass there doing nothing Mike.... :)

Sarcasm comes across well on a computer doesn't it? :D

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PostPosted: Aug 9th, '11, 19:07 
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faye wrote:
Bug control is no problem as there are hundreds of children that pick off the pesky critters and can feed them to the fish.


Amazing the difference a week with little rain makes, we seem to have had a snail boom. Big blitz today with a class, no chooks yet so home to mine they go, there were honestly that many the chooks did not know what to do with them :funny1:

Also took a letterbox I had bought to mount an airpump in and mounted it on a garden bed post. This is the "snail mail box" any snails, slug or caterpillers collected during recess and lunch can be put into the chinese takeaway container in the mailbox for me to deal with at the end of the day. No photos however as the work camera was dead.


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My system http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=5478
School System http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=5011
Backyard Farminghttp://backyardfarming.com.au/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=281
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PostPosted: Aug 10th, '11, 05:02 
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thats a lot of leaf eaters??

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systems
http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=6782
solar system.http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=7706
Chilly tankhttp://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=9917


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