Garinger Aquaponics

Updates on the 100 Gardens site at Garinger High School in Charlotte, NC

Back at it!

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Hey folks!

We are back to it now! The past few weeks have been mostly devoted to the Southern Spring Show, working on the setup for the Ultimate Schoolyard Garden, which was recognized with two awards by The American Horticultural Society. Though I wasn’t able to experience the conference firsthand, I am very happy about this news. A lot of hard work went into making the display possible, and acknowledgement of that dedication was well deserved. It’s encouraging to know that progressive efforts, such as those displayed by the Schoolyard Garden, are well received by the urban agriculture movement. We have a huge opportunity for growth while public interest remains high in local agriculture efforts, and a need to adapt our approach to agriculture for the sake of resiliency that was not as pressing during prior years of public support. It is inspiring to see that growth happen every day

So I’ll fill you in on what we’re building at Garinger, and what we accomplished today. As you can see the greenhouse is a lot greener, thanks to the warm weather and sunshine we’ve had lately. There’s a good bit of algae in the rafts, but once we get the water pumping (which it will be Friday!) all that will be filtered out. The filter system will have to be cleaned out a good bit at first, due to the algae in the rafts and the biofilm in the totes, but we’ll want to keep a close eye on everything at first anyhow.

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Next bit of news for you is that there are fish in the far left tank. Some of them are veterans from the Schoolyard Garden display, but we lost a few in transit. They seem to like their new home pretty well, and they’re already getting to work cleaning the water of biofilm and adding nutrients for the plants.
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As you may notice, there’s a pipe protruding into the fish tank at the bottom there. That’s because all the totes have been hooked up to the same plumbing system! Again it isn’t pumping yet, we’ve still got some dirt to move and holes to drill with our wonky drill bit that makes for some very clean 1.5′ holes. Or 1′, heck I’m pretty sure you can even drill a 1/4′ hole with that set. Go crazy, see what happens.
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So there’s that crazy drill bit. Sam is drilling into our sump tank there, which will run from the raft (the little blue corner is in the bottom left of the picture). The whole thing will be driven by pumps, and gravity. It’ll be a process of trial and error, but we’ll get it sorted.Image
Today we worked until we ran out of materials. Sam is putting the finishing touches on the aeration for our totes here. The cement glue holding those pipes together gives off some serious fumes. Sam tipped the jar a bit at one point to dab some from the bottom, and I could see the vapor pour out, the same way you might see steam rise off a compost pile. Or heatwaves on the asphalt in summer.

I plucked some greens, covered in aphids and worm castings. I’m looking forward to a dinner of greens and onions tonight.

Until next time everyone!
Jacob

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