If you’re serious about growing your own food, you need to look at Growing Power in Milwaukee. Here are the headlines:

  • Three acres
  • 450,ooo kg of food a year
  • 10,000 fish

Show me a non-aquaponic system that can produce that! Take 5 minutes of your life and look at a non-profit doing something amazing:

In spite of the snow and big freeze before Christmas (it got down below -10c) we have been able to keep harvesting food from the aquaponics and under the fleece tunnels. The pic on the left is perennial spinach, and the one below is the first of our aquaponic leeks heading for the dinner table.

And here’s some of our Ruby Pak Choi:

It’s been a great 2010 at the Trafford Eco-House, we’ve not posted updates recently not due to lack of activity, but the opposite!

The garden’s been going well and we’ve got trout and beds of winter veg surviving the snow. The pace isn’t going to stop in 2011 though, this is the year when the changes to the house should happen: Solar PV, Solar Thermal, Woodburner with Flue Boiler, extension with bike garage, wrap the whole thing in external insulation, put up much thicker curtains.

The garden in 2011 will keep us busy too – we’ll fix up the shed and give it a green roof, expand the aquaponics, and dig over another 500sqft of turf into veg patch.

Looks like a fantastic year ahead, and we’re really looking forward to what we’ll be saying this time next year.

Hope you’ve all had a good 2010, and are looking forward to an even better 2011.

Rainbow trout to be exact! We should be getting tiny (10g) Rainbow trout for our system tomorrow, so I thought it was time for a quick celebratory update:

Almond - Robijn - Blossom

Almond - Robijn - Blossom

Just time for another quick update before I zoom off to Green Drinks tonight to present on the topic of Manchester’s Food Security and Aquaponics. I had a good half-hour of planting this morning so, I had a chance to run around with the camera capturing all the growth:

I’m so flat out planting and working that it’s hard to get to the blog, but I’m taking plenty of pics along the way, so here’s a quick photo update for you:

Polytunnel With Polythene

Finally, after much work inside and outside the polytunnel over the last few weeks, we have put the polythene onto the tunnel. We only just got there – had a full-on Sunday getting everything ready and then doing it. We haven’t finished yet – one end needs more battens, and we need to put the doors back on. We did manage to do it though, and just in time – the first frost of the season was last night, and while everything outside the polytunnel was frosty, everything inside was just a few degrees warmer, with no frost. Not bad bearing in mind we only got the cover on at dusk, so it didn’t have much time to heat up yesterday.

Here’s what it looked like just after we had finished – showing the fantastic lighting:

Polytunnel at night

Today we’ve started to put the completed growbed stands  in. The growbeds now all have drain holes in their bases and the drains are almost all in place. We’ve even connected all the sumps together (nice big 110 mm pipe). Now I just need to get the tubing and fittings for the drains and inlets and we’ll be ready to start the system up.

Here are some more pics of the growbeds and stands: