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Travis Day

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since Oct 23, 2012
Idaho, 43rd parallel Zone 6A
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Recent posts by Travis Day

Can you do high density farming with vertical substrate or Matala ?

I will look into them thanks
8 years ago
Yes using cold water fish for the sake of argument lets say Trout in the cold areas is good but if you live some where like me (3 hours ago it was 1 deg) and want to keep your system running year round it is easier to naturaly heat your FT in winter than naturaly cool it in summer as it gets up over 100 deg here, also even with cool water fish if you live in a cold area you will still need to either heat the FT in winter to keep it at 52-56 deg or cool it yes even in winter if your greenhouse is kept warm all year.

Yes Tilapia is not the type of fish that is the best for you but if want/need a fast grower they are the top choice, I would love to set my system up for Trout and I might still do that at some point but I can't get the numbers I will with Tilapia.

8 years ago
Have you given any thoughts to compost pile heating ? if your greenhouse is to small to fit it on the inside build a enclosed compost area venting inside along the north wall as to not block any winter sunlight.

Now you can also dig a hole inside your greenhouse to put your FT into and add polystyrene insulation before backfilling or if you have room put your compost pile around two or more sides of your FT so its not only heating the air but the FT as well.

Note that if you are using a air pump you could even cover 1/2 to 3/4 of the surface area with pool cover or foam and still keep the o2 levels needed to help hold heat in from a dirrect contact compost pile but if you do this warm air temps in the greenhouse will not help heat the water much because 1/2 to 3/4 of the surface area is covered.
8 years ago
I have been holding off on finishing my system because I am going under the knife but I have a 12'x24' greenhouse that will have a 3800 gallon fish tank for nile tilapia, about 340 sq ft of grow bed space with both NFT and DWC and it will run year round in zone 6 with a mix of solar heating and as needed a rocket mass heater also solar for power.
8 years ago
Hmm well I first heard the term permaculture a few (3-4) years ago and the person telling me about it some how said it was trademarked or copyrighted and with that I had no intrest in knowing anything more about permaculture because it is just more of someone wanting to get paid and we have more than enough of that already.

Now about 2 years ago I learned about Aquaponics and it was intriguing so as I started learning more and planning out my set up, I was looking for a more selfsustaining life that I could use my past experiences with solar and wind and I have friends who are into permaculture but I just avoided any talk about permaculture based off of my dislike for someone wanting to get paid instead of helping others to learn a good system.

So as I was thinking through the how's and why's it brought me back to permaculture as that was the types of people who had answers to a few questions I was looking for, So the Ah Ha moment was when I joined this site and I saw my dislike for the Corporate way was holding me back from learning and building my reretirement plan.

So here I am.....LOL
8 years ago
Well I am not sure how much room you have to work with, but lets say you have room for a 12'x24' greenhouse you could have a 4000-6000 gallon FT that could turn over about 6000-8000 or more Tilapia a year (if legal for you) and with a NFT system you could harvest 100-150 heads or luttuce a week.

I hope that is helpful as an idea of what you can expect from 288 sq ft of space.

8 years ago
It may be time to make a few chicken soup meals and not pay to feed eggless chickens.

Now I have 8 RIR's (Rhode Island Reds) that I got in March 2012 and I am in a 6A zone and I am getting right now no less than 5 eggs a day and one of my crazy hens thought it to be a good time to start molting almost 2 weeks ago, My girls are Free Range and I don't close the coop at all they can come and go as they please 24/7 also no heat or lighting.

I have been giving them more feed the last 3-4 weeks I went from 1/4 cup a day per bird to 1/2 cup and if they want any more they better get back to work.....LOL
8 years ago
We are careful with the toilet paper, The gray water I would use would only be from the tub/shower and bathroom sinks.

The chickens will get 2 days a week to be on the front and back lawns to keep the bugs away from the house and fertilize.

I will be looking for all 27 types of seeds, in the family ground garden I will have potatoes,sweet potatoes,pumkin,Painted Mountain corn and I hope to get some glass gem corn.

Yes I could toss some seeds over the fence.....LOL But I would just ask since she does not use her back 1/2 acre also I have thought about asking her if she wanted to lease it to me for 5 years and I could use it as a paddock for the chickens and cow.

The roof water goes to the ground.

The elm tree lol because it is just a few inches inside of the fence line on my back northeast corner it provides almost no shade on my land but it blocks a lot of sun from the neighbors garden so they would be happy if I cut it down.

Thanks everyone it is very helpful.

8 years ago
I am going line by line so I don't leave anything out.

S Bengi wrote:Ok I have a few questions for you
How big is the total property:

The whole lot is 90'x330' or 0.68 of an acre that runs North and South

How big is the pasture area

The pasture is 90'x200'

Is the barn area different from the pasture area and if so how big is it.

The barn is in the pasture.

Is the greenhouse different from the pasture area and if so how big is it.

The greenhouse is in the pasture.

Is your living/house area different from the pasture area and if so how big is it.

No it is in the front of the lot 90'x130' so there is a 'front and back lawn area for the dogs and kids.

You can catch the water from your house roof+barn roof+greenhouse roof and use it for your pasture.

I did not want to catch the water because of having comp roofing but after I reroof it I will use steel and at the time setup a catchment.

This could easily measure 1/10 of an acre so you could double your rainfall if you send that water to an equal amount of pasture.


How much gray water do you produce, you already flush your shit with water are you sure your septic tank needs more water, if so why.

About 40-60 gallons a day

Could you add a biological agent so that your septic tank needs less water.

I could but the cost to pump out the tank and could cause the cost to up big time if a R&R of the system is needed early.

It would be nice to use all your greywater to water your trees.

Yes that is my plan if/when I set it up, now with that I will need to check the ph to see if I need to change anyting

Dont use your grey water on pasture only on living fence/trees. You can use your roof water anywhere you want (vegetables/fish/pasture/cow drinking water/trees)

The gray water was going to be used for the 3 tree's and lawn around the house.

I would only have 10ft or less living fence and 1 big 30ft+ tree in each paddock under which you could but your water bucket in the 100F sun, for a total of two 30ft trees.

Ok I already have a 30' tall elm at the very back NE corner

For those two trees I would go with the Illinois Everybearing, or any everybearing. I would not go for the elm.

I will look into this and maybe remove the elm.

In the living fence you can plant 9ft dwarf hazelnut, protein content is 38%. And in the back living fence you can plant regular 12ft hazelnut trees.

I like nut tree's but one of my kids has nut allergies so I was trying to stay away from them.

I would use all the vertical surface that you have to grow grapes. The chicken+cow will eat grapes and the cow will eat the leaves.

So grapes along the fence line instead of blackberries ?

I am not too sure if kuzu is illegal/ban in your state.


Its best to give the pasture grass a full year to grow really deep roots before stressing with grazing.
However one just have to work with what you have

So would it be better to leave the chickens on the grass and contain the cow to a small area and sprout feed till the first year for the grass to grow ?

What do you plan on having in your greenhouse vegetables or dwarf mango trees, lol.
I would do aquaponics if it is vegetables. It will regulate the temp in the summer and the winter so longer growing season at no heating cost.
It will also provide fish for you to eat and nitrogen for your vegetables. You can keep the "fish/water" under your vegetable table Here is a guy in Phoenix, Arizona doing it.

It is a Aquaponics system with a 3800 gal tank full of Tilapia and 340 sq ft of grow bed space for Tomato, bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, bunching onions, lettuce, parsley, oregano, basil and strawberries

If your greenhouse is just for "mango/tropical trees" water drums/etc will still regulate the summer and winter.


Also if you are using city water and not well its best to let the chlorine evaporate 1st by letting the water sit in "buckets" before you water with it.

Its well water

You can also grow trees cover them with vines and then manually feed the cow the vines. and the chicken could eat the fruits of the tree and the vine.
There might even be grass growing under the treen grow under the tree and I am sure their will be more high protein bugs for the chicken.
Plus with your 100% more desert sunlight compared to east coast means that you are full sun even under the tree. So your grass will grow as long as you can provide it sun light.
Think vine root in a bucket of water/soil leaves growing under the tree on the ground.


Here is a good paddock seed mix:
lamb's quarter
fava bean
sweet clover
landino clover
hairy vetch
black-eyed peas
sun flower
bee balm
pea (pisum arvitiuse)
stinging nettle
maximillian sunflower

Now do you mean to mix all of those types of seeds or just pick a few ?

Thanks so much for your help.

8 years ago