Projects and Progress

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What a difference a season makes! Spring is cautiously approaching the Tropical Homestead. We’ve had some cold air travel south from those frigid Northern storms, but weve had some beautiful days in the 80’s, too. And beautiful days mean projects are afoot!
 

 

progress shedClay made awesome progress on the shed – until he involuntarily took leave of his ladder with a heavy wooden beam in his hand. He most likely broke something in his foot, but with his stubborn refusal to seek medical attention, we’ll never know.

 

 

But one spouse’s painful, devastating blow is another spouse’s opportunity to get another project underway. I skillfully turned 6 weeks of a debilitating injury into an awesome chance for a smaller (and closer to the ground) project to shine. Aquaponics!

 

progress 008For the uninitiated, Aquaponics combines aquaculture (raising fish or plants in a tank) and hydroponics (growing vegetable and other plants in a liquid environment) together. The beauty of aquaponics is that fish produce waste that nourishes the plants. Plants take up the waste, so then the water is filtered and oxygenated for the fish once it drains from the plants. A self-sustaining system!

 

We decided to start small, so we are using a 110-gallon tank for the fish, and two 40-gallon tanks, or grow beds, for the veggies. Once the system is in balance and the fish get bigger, we’ll be able to add two more grow beds.

 

progress aqua paintI’m usually the ideas person, Clay has to be the brains and the brawn for most of my schemes. But with Clay out of commission, I was in charge digging out for the tank and the foundation posts, loading, unloading and moving lumber from store-to-home-to-chop-saw-to-final position and all the painting. I loved every minute of it. Clay still was in charge of design – that’s why it looks so cool.

progress aqua siphonNow that he’s getting around better, Clay gets to be in charge of plumbing. Last night he was able to get the pump operational and the siphon drain system working. Next week we hope to get the grow media (clay pellets) and the fish. I’ll be sure to share once the whole thing comes to life!

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