Zack Ewing

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since Nov 03, 2010
Mid Missouri
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Recent posts by Zack Ewing

I am making a youtube video of the new system and will share the link here
7 years ago
Well I dont use pellet feed at all Just duckweed, garden goods and bugs. So I gues my answer would be completely eliminated. But I am also not concerned with high production, only with a natural self producing system.
7 years ago
Well it depends on how many fish you have, but generally as much as they can eat in 10 min or so and as often as they will eat that way.
7 years ago
Here is an update on my project.. Also wanted to add that dry weight vs "wet" shouldnt make a difference on the duck weed, the protein content should still be the same. Also duck weed grows so fast that you can raise it in shallow pools, harvest it every few days and freeze it in blocks to feed over winter. You also have all of the scraps from the system to feed year round.

7 years ago
Making some progress, did some mowing and yard work. Looks better already!

7 years ago
Not sure of the whole history yet, but lead is not a problem here. I think it is late 1800 or early 1900s and is part of the original town. The former owner passed away and was an old hippy that had gardened the place. he was into organics and herbal meds as I found several books on it in the house. I dont have inside pics yet but the inside is even more interesting then the outside. Its kinda like Adams family meets Winchester mansion, doors that open to nothing and windows that are like shadow boxes, very unique. I need to get the house cleaned out and then I will post more pics. Went today and put the fence back up and mowed and already it looks much better. I sure hope I can find someone who will make this into what it should be. A couple thousand and lots of hard work and someone will have a nice urban farm.
7 years ago
This is a property that I just purchaced because the city wanted to demo it. It is one of the most unique houses inside and out I have ever seen and just had to save it. I love the idea of saving the urban core of towns and cities and the area we are in needs more people like us on this forum. This house sits on a nice lot and is south facing, it has a wood shop in the back yard that I feel is perfect for a chicken coop and rabbit operation. There is plenty of room front and back for gardens and aquaponics systems. The house has one bathroom and 2 bedrooms and like I said VERY unique and was sided with pallets in a log cabin fashion. The house needs ALOT of work but I am certainlly willing to pitch in for the sake of the cause. I am only asking what I have in it which is about the cost of a cheap car. I would like to find a family in need or someone who shares the vision of making it an urban farmsted and is willing to put in the sweat to make it happen. It is located near Jefferson city Missouri

7 years ago
Also wanted to add that the grow beds can be made from 2x12 lumber or plywood with a pond liner, this dramaticlly reduces the amout of plastic for the beds.
7 years ago
Ok, here goes my 2 cents...

"When your using the grow beds you're removing a lot of soil biology that normally would interact with the plants.  Does that have an effect on the benefits the plants offer im not sure."
In reality and IMO your not prohibiting this relationship, using creek gravel or clay it acts as a filter for the solids and bacteria will grow and break these solids down, after all it is organic matter. Plus adding compost worms to the system will really boost this eco system. As far as the health of the plant or the nutrition content of the plant that is decided by what you feed your fish, dirt farming is no different its what you feed the soil. Example would be this. The plant absorbs what is in its "soil", so you have an organic carrot that was fed compost, the compost came from a commercial non organic farm. That farms soil has been depleated and no longer contains the trace minerals, so the compost contains no trace elements so your carrot does not either. If you feed those tops to the tilapia your system will not contain the minerals either. Same goes with the crappy commercial fish food. But if you are feeding your fish wholsome nutrient DENSE food (from your garden), your system will contain the same thru the fish waste. Another Suggestion would be seaweed if your by a coast, this stuff is packed with trace minerals so I read. As far as getting protein there are several ways, make a 5gal bucket and put fish endtrails in it, drill holes near the bottom the let the maggots drop into tank. Vent out the roof of greenhouse, just got to get creative.

"You can grow more calories in a small space which could mean that you are having less impact."
This IS the case with aquaponics, in dirt you are limited by many factors and space is one. Space is a factor due to these factors, 1.) nutrients and 2.)water. There are only so much available nutrients and water supply per sq ft. In a aquaponics system you are really only restricted by actual space and light, your water and nutrient supply is never ending and thus elimitating the peaks and vallys associated with soil. This boosts growth and increases production ALOT.

"But most folks who are doing aquaponics use a commercial fish food which is a by product of the large commercial fish industry that are destroying fish populations.  They also include different agriculture products that are grown far away then heavily processed then sent to you. 
You can supplement your fish food with BSF or duckweed but they don't meet the full protein requirements for the fish to keep up good growth." 

Again, the maggots are a good choice to suppliment as well as black fly. Duckweed is still pretty high in protein @45%

"Then there is the whole plastic problem.  You may be growing in a smaller space but with all the plastic piping and tanks the chemical foot print your garden is using increasing dramatically.  Most of the plastic is PVC which is a pretty nasty thing to make and has lots of toxic by products.  Its made far away in villages that we dont have a relationship with so we can still feel like we are not making a big impact."

You can use poly tubing, copper or steel. I totally understand here and PVC is not the best choice at all, it off gasses some pretty bad stuff. I personally use poly tubing, over the life of this tubing in the system (forever) the benefits WAY out weigh the "cost". Permaculturally speaking this is a good thing.

Does anyone agree or disagree?

I hope this helps and provokes some thoughts 
7 years ago