January 2010

I know that is an optimistic title for a post, but it feels like we are getting there. Hopefully the leaking sump joints are sealed, and we can get on with it!  Here are the latest pics:

You can see my beautiful brick path – good thermal mass to help with moderating the polytunnel temperatures, and much nicer to walk on than the mud! The large buried sump at the back has a timber deck covering it that the kids can stand on to reach the back beds – so I think those will now be their spot for planting.

And here’s the right hand side:

The timber “paving” is over the new link between the two shallow sumps – designed so that I can lift it up to check for leaks.

Now it’s all “cycling” again – building up the bacteria that’ll clean the water. Soon I’ll start planting – but in the meantime we have our first Aquaponics workshop on next week, so time to tidy up!

I’m a big fan of the Transition Town movement, so it was great to be invited to be a part of the new Transition Town Altrincham, Hale & Bowdon. This is all a little bit south of us (we’re right on the border between Sale and Altrincham) but it’s the first Transition initiative in Trafford so how could I resist!

At the moment we’re just starting to get a core group together, and tentatively planning our first film showing, to start getting the word out. We’re hoping to piggy-back some of the great events that Action for Sustainable Living are doing locally, and our next group meeting is February 1st – full details here. If you’re concerned about the environment, climate change and peak oil, or just interested in building a stronger local community then do come along – the more the merrier!

Sorry I haven’t been posting much recently – been too busy with aquaponics / filling gaps in house walls & other draftproofing / aquaponics / Transition Town Altrincham, Hale & Bowdon / being on BBC Radio Manchester / changing lightbulbs / saving 1.5 kWh per day by buying a new freezer / aquaponics / and some Christmas and New Year stuff too!

Anyway, let’s resume normal service with a pic from the polytunnel – looks like we might need some heating in there next year:

This is the ice on the top of the fishtank. To give you an idea of scale, the thickest bits are 2-3 inches thick. The water temp is down to 2-3°c and the polytunnel itself got down to -4.5°c at its coldest.