Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Commercial Aquaponics Business Plan

I am a subscriber to the commercial aquaponics newsletter published by Friendly Aquaponics.  A recent issue provided a detailed breakdown of the earnings possibilities provided when you couple an experienced business person with a powerful low input - high output business model: aquaponics farming. Based on the actual results of an aquaponics operator using the Friendly Aquaponics system, one of their most successful students is earning a six figure income with aquaponics. From the newsletter:
Based on our experience, these [expenses] should  average $12,400-25,500 a year for a farm of his size, leaving him with a $121,500-134,500 net profit.
Their student is generating 75 cents per net pot hole, which equates to roughly $2,000 - $3,000 per week in his system. As in most endeavors, profitability increases with size and volume. It also helps that their student has performed a large part of the labor and maintenance without needing to hire it done during the start-up stages.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Michigan Rhubarb Update

We planted our rhubarb a couple of weeks ago. So far so good.

I wasn't sure this rhubarb was going to make it, but it seems to be thriving.
We've had a few nights in the mid-30's, but the rhubarb is no worse for wear.

Tulip Time in Holland Michigan

We visited Holland Michigan this weekend.  Holland is famous for tulips. I snapped a few pictures.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

15 Reasons to Grow Your Own Food

It's probably not possible to grow everything you eat. Even if you grow an organic garden in your backyard, grow your own chickens, rabbits, and goats, it might prove difficult to swear off processed foods completely.  This article from Rodale.com provides some pretty good reasons why it's important to understand the food we are eating: The 15 Grossest Things You Are Eating.

Growing your own food doesn't need to be expensive.
This above ground bed was purchased for $30 from Home Depot.
It's hard to see because we just planted it, but this 4' x 4' bed
contains 3 rows of onions, a row of carrots, a row of radishes,
3 collard greens, and 2 blackberry bushes. Eventually the bushes will
take over, but in the meantime I'm taking advantage of every
square inch of growing space.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Monday, April 16, 2012

Earthboxes in the Backyard

We tried our first Earthbox last year and had such good results I purchased 9 more.  This weekend we planted 5 of them in the back yard. Next weekend the plan is prepare the other 5 in the side yard.

Earthbox gardening
The white cover sticks out like a sore thumb, but I was so enthusiastic about getting things planted that I already planted the cucumber seeds before making the final decision to go with black.  In Florida it's so hot we use the white covers, but it's still occasionally "nippy" during spring time in Michigan so black it is.

Tulips in the Front Yard

Tulips in the front yard
 I picked up a "new to me" lens for my camera a couple of weeks ago and the first sunny day we had since I picked it up I couldn't wait to go outside and try it out. The tulips have been blooming like crazy lately. What better way to launch into spring time?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Distilling Water

I took this picture last year at a winery in Florida.  They use old wine bottles to distill water by using the heat of the sun. I wish I'd taken better notes so I knew how this actually works, but ran across it tonight and wanted to share.