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Aquaponics and Hugelkultur

 
Jimbo Shepherd
Posts: 36
Location: Virginia
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forest garden hugelkultur urban
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I have two 20x4 foot raft grow beds and a 275 gallon fish tank holding 25 bluegill, 40 goldfish, mosquito fish, and giant Malaysian Prawn. Highly oxygenated aquaponics water loaded with nitrates and microbes overflows to my Hugelkultur bed when it rains. The hugel bed is 15 by 5 feet and about 3 feet high with a 3 foot deep trench undground loaded with huge unsplit log rounds. Just thought I'd post this because I don't know of other people overflowing aquaponcs water to hugel beds. 1/4 acre lot in suburbs of Washington DC.

Jimbo
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Whole system
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Lettuce awesomeness
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Overflow from aquaponics loading Hugelkultur bed
 
Amos Burkey
Posts: 101
Location: Nebraska
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Very cool idea Jimbo! That is definitely the blending of two schools of thought. That's a great way to make use of the overflowed nutrients from the AP system. Waste not, want not.
 
John Saltveit
gardener
Posts: 2001
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bike books food preservation forest garden fungi trees
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Thanks for posting the pictures, too Jimbo. This may be a great source of innovation. I will be intrigued to see what your results are.
John S
PDX OR
 
Jimbo Shepherd
Posts: 36
Location: Virginia
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forest garden hugelkultur urban
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Thanks guys! I took the Friendly Aquaponics 5-day intensive commercial course and they mentioned something pretty spectacular about the power of stacking functions with aquaponics water which is not only loaded with nutrients and dissolved oxygen but also lots of microbes!

The story went something like this. New banana plant in the path of the aquaponics overflow when it rains experienced explosive growth compared to another new banana plant nearby but not in the path of the aquaponics overflow. The banana plant experiencing the super growth produced bananas in the first year and the other plant took 3 years to produce fruit.

I will bucket out some aquaponics water and put it on my traditional raised beds and the veggies do go pretty crazy. I use this water in my worm teas too!



 
Jimbo Shepherd
Posts: 36
Location: Virginia
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forest garden hugelkultur urban
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Update - my first season Hugelkultur kicked ass! I think having an overflow of aquaponics water, hitting the hugel bed when it rains, worked awesome. I had a lots to tomatoes to harvest and remarkably, over 50 pounds of sweet potatoes from just 5 plants that I planted late in the season. Cant wait for next season!
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Hugel bed
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Hugel bed closeup
 
allen lumley
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Jimbo : Thanks for sharing, Will be watching for more information ! Big AL
 
John Saltveit
gardener
Posts: 2001
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I met a guy at a Portland Permaculture meeting who had an aquaponics system. His girlfriend was really good at growing vegetables. He showed us how many she grew in the garden and we were very impressed. Then he showed us how many he grew with the aquaponics system. They had a friendly competition and it looked like he grew twice as many as her. It definitely put aquaponics into my eventual to do list. Also the sheer frequency of pollution in fish these days makes me very nervous. FIsh is a very healthy food, if you can do it right.
John S
PDX OR
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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