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 Post subject: Re: Grafs urban farming.
PostPosted: Aug 25th, '18, 12:39 
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Ditto for the seed pod maker. Very nice...and I agree with boss....very organised


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 Post subject: Re: Grafs urban farming.
PostPosted: Aug 27th, '18, 14:16 
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Thanks for the feedback all, I like tinkering/building stuff, uses a different part of the brain from my day job :)

Here's some of the other projects done over the past few years, The wife says I over-engineer anything I build but I figure do it well do - it once!
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File comment: Built 2012
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The doghouse is partitioned inside to allow a protected sleeping area, sides/base is insulated and lined. unfortunately our dog is now older with arthritis in the hips so doesn't jump up to sun himself, he has many other sunny warm positions to laze around now anyway. The doghouse is about 6-7 years old now and still going strong.

The chookhouse is around 9yo, pretty much no modifications over that time other than location and building a permanent enclosed run around it to keep the pigeons/doves out. Has a rear hinged clean out door, and the front laying boxes have a hinged lid to make egg collection easy.
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I also took up learning/playing the Bagpipes about 5 years ago as my midlife crisis :dontknow: and to exercise yet another part of the brain. Learning to read music and memorising tunes as we don't have sheet music in front of us whilst playing sure gets the grey matter working.

Here's me on the opening credits of the Edinburgh military tattoo that played Aus/NZ in Feb 2016, have also played in the UK at Windsor Castle May 2016 for the Queens 90th B'Day celebrations and last years Edinburgh Tattoo in Scotland.
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I figure as long as I keep active and doing "Stuff" that gives the family and I fun/pleasure...although perhaps the family is not to pleasured by the bagpipes on occasions.... then it keeps us all young-ish......

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 Post subject: Re: Grafs urban farming.
PostPosted: Sep 6th, '18, 09:19 
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Spring has well and truly sprung, weeds are growing like crazy!

The good news is that the edible garden is also showing signs of life and with the water warming slightly the AP trout are eating very well and growing nicely.

Fruit trees have started to flower, keeping the black aphids under control by brushing them off when seen.
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Cucumbers, rockmelon, pumpkin and zucchini have all sprouted, the coir cubes seem to have worked a treat, I moved them off the wicking mat to prevent roots from going in and being hard to extricate come planting time. The coir cubes were also very wet and I was worried about rot. This way I can mist them daily to keep damp but not wet.
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Tomatoes have also sprouted as have the carrots and snowpeas that were direct sown, Beetroot are yet to show above ground.
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 Post subject: Re: Grafs urban farming.
PostPosted: Sep 6th, '18, 09:25 
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Finally got around to making up a PVC chook feeder, was getting a fair amount of waste from the standard feeders.

The girls took to it very quickly and seems to have reduced the amount of feed that was flicked out and around.

Sits around chook-head height and is also vermin proof, another nice befit.
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180830 Chook Feeder.jpg
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180830 Chook Feeder3.jpg
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 Post subject: Re: Grafs urban farming.
PostPosted: Sep 6th, '18, 11:06 
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fig jam mate your an embarrassment, my wife happened to walk past as I was looking at your grow beds plan....and ahh shoit, I think I have a job over the weekend.

Very impressed.

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 Post subject: Re: Grafs urban farming.
PostPosted: Sep 6th, '18, 11:43 
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aw man, soz! that honey-do list just got bigger huh?

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 Post subject: Re: Grafs urban farming.
PostPosted: Sep 6th, '18, 18:50 
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:think: Wow! Those are absolutely amazing projects Graf. The Chook feeder is invention of the year material. That would solve the issue of feed going everywhere. The only thing that worries me is if plants are flowering DownUnder it means first frost can't be far off for us!

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 Post subject: Re: Grafs urban farming.
PostPosted: Sep 6th, '18, 19:17 
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:support: :D

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 Post subject: Re: Grafs urban farming.
PostPosted: Sep 6th, '18, 22:28 
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boss wrote:
:think: Wow! Those are absolutely amazing projects Graf. The Chook feeder is invention of the year material. That would solve the issue of feed going everywhere. The only thing that worries me is if plants are flowering DownUnder it means first frost can't be far off for us!



I was thinking the same and am slightly disgusted. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Grafs urban farming.
PostPosted: Sep 6th, '18, 23:14 
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Good job on the feeder, I like it :thumbright: . Mine use Y at the bottom and an end cap with the top half of the end cut away in a semi-circle so that the feed doesn't spill out. These used to be common but I can't find a picture at the moment :? . Yours look like they'd do a better job of protecting the feed from rain if the feeder is exposed to the elements.


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 Post subject: Re: Grafs urban farming.
PostPosted: Sep 7th, '18, 10:25 
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Thanks for the positive feedback! The wife keeps on at me to not turn the backyard into something out of Steptoe & Son with all my projects, so form and function is the driver!

looked around at various designs on the web till i found what I thought would work and available through local hardware, I have not seen any flicked out feed so its working a treat and the fact that vermin cannot get to it is a plus! Some parts are glued, some are 316SS screwed (do get coastal salt spray in really bad weather) to facilitate cleaning. I liked the idea of the push in end cap on the base that was able to take the piping to act as a stand, then I didn't have to worry about clipping/retaining to support weight when full. The clips holding the feeder to the side of the coop are just sections of pipe split lengthways, they secure it quite well and easy for the kids to clip/unclip when refilling.

The total feed containing length is about 1.2m (4'), enough for the 7 hens for a week. We were refilling 2 hanging feeders every second day pretty much so its less of a drama now getting the kids to keep the feeder full as they can do it once a week on the weekend.

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 Post subject: Re: Grafs urban farming.
PostPosted: Sep 10th, '18, 11:26 
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Productive days in the garden over the weekend, cleaned up some of the old cauli stems out of the aquaponics for chook feed, they grew huge.
Attachment:
180910 giant cauli stem.jpg
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Beetroot are variable, huge amount of leaf growth from all the nitrates but variable root/bulb development, some are very small, some are 2-3" in diameter, a couple will be pulled next week for a meal. The others I guess we will see how they progress.

Cleaned out the bottom of the FT. It seems to be needing a clean in the corners every fortnight or so. The SLO is mostly doing its job. Might need to look at a round aquaculture style tank in time. The trout are looking nice and healthy!
Attachment:
180910 trout.jpg
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Now the amount of greens in the beds have dropped a little, as the caulis get pulled out and the Broccoli goes to seed for the bees, I'm interested to see what happens to the nitrates. It might be that they still sit at zero as the silverbeet and spinach that was getting shaded out now start to thrive.

Weather is starting to warm up, forcast 24C today, and for the next 14d is high teens/low 20's daytime and low teens at night so the water temps should still be nice. I've need to get some airstones setup ready to turn on I think.

Seeds plant 3 weeks ago are going great guns, will have to plant out the Cucumbers, Rockmelons, Zucchini and Pumpkins next week. I'm going to try a couple of climbing cuc's in the AP setup, was thinking of putting up a simple frame at the back to the growbed about 6' high and tying twine from the front IBC frame of the GB and back up to the frame at the back, this would provide some shading to one of the GB from the direct westerly arvo sun. Will have to think this through a little bit more. Tomatoes are still a while away from planting out as they still are germinating and those that have sprouted only have seed leaves. The capsicums that have just started to germinate some 3 weeks after planting. so both them and the tom's are still a few weeks away from planting out.

The Pumpkins and Rockmelons will be going into the ground under the fruit trees where they have room to ramble, although the soil is very sandy its been well fertilised by the chooks and is slowly starting to build up organic matter from the chook coop straw bedding and poo that gets tossed in there. Did the same in 2016 with the below results, hopefully this year will be similar! We ate the last pumpkin from that batch almost a year later and only lost one due to it going bad, pretty pleased with how they stored!
Attachment:
pumpkin harvest.jpg
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Attachment:
pumpkins.jpg
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Last year I didn't get any started and put down seed way to late in the season so didn't get any that fully formed/ripened before the vines died off, this year will be different.

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 Post subject: Re: Grafs urban farming.
PostPosted: Sep 10th, '18, 19:35 
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It's delightful to see the fantastic rewards from a successful and well thought-out and maintained aquaponics system. Congrats Graf and family!

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 Post subject: Re: Grafs urban farming.
PostPosted: Sep 11th, '18, 09:14 
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Thanks Boss, the experience has been fantastic, the kids have been enjoying the journey also. They're out there still snacking on the broccoli shoots, sugar snaps and picking lettuce leaves to making school lunches most mornings.

Here are a couple of snaps of the system as it looks this morning, the beet leaves are huge and such a gorgeous color, I'm having to keep them trimmed to stop from over shading some of the other plants. I haven't seen them put on so much leaf growth in the ground. Amazing what a constant source of high nitrogen nutrients and water does.

The broccoli is flowering and the bees are loving it, i'm not planning on keeping the seeds from these as I'm going to try out some other varieties for yield.

Coriander has gone to flower also, lovely sprays of delicate white flowers. I'll be keeping these seeds for spice grinding and possibly germinating. I've got another 6 plants in the wicking beds and some to go into the aquaponics once there is some room already. use a hell of a lot in summer asian style salads.

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180911 Coriander flowers.jpg
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 Post subject: Re: Grafs urban farming.
PostPosted: Sep 11th, '18, 10:26 
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boss wrote:
Graf you are seriously well organised, well at the very least, you are making the rest of us look totally disorganized, haha!

Ditto. My set-up is disorganised and chaotic in comparison to yours, Graf! :(

Congrats on putting it all together so well, and on a very interesting thread. :thumbright:

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