[permaculture] [Fwd: Cutting Edge Way to Grow Food]

Lawrence F. London, Jr. lflondon at mindspring.com
Wed Feb 6 09:28:06 EST 2002



 Date:         Tue, 5 Feb 2002 18:24:31 EST
 Sender:       Sustainable Agriculture Network Discussion Group
               <SANET-MG at LISTS.IFAS.UFL.EDU>
 From:         Bagelhole1 at AOL.COM
 Subject:      Cutting Edge Way to Grow Food
 

 I have a not for profit project, www.bagelhole.org (where there is a
photo of
 the small version on the homepage) which focusses on sharing and
collecting
 low-tech, alternative, sustainable info to help individuals and
communities
 towards self-reliance, self-sustainability, and autonomy. Vertical
aquaponics
 is a cutting edge way for people to grow their own food. I have both a
large
 and small version functioning in my backyard in San Francisco as I am
trying
 to make my home a model for sustainability ( I have a long way to go),
though
 I have chickens for eggs, fruit trees, and growing mushrooms too.
     In a 3'x3'x 7' high space, I can place 100 2 liter plastic pop
bottles
 for plant holders in vertical columns over about 1 and a half feet of
water
 for fish and water plants, the fish supplying the nutrients for the
plants,
 the water being pumped up thru 1/2 inch tubing every 10 hours for 1
minute or
 so (timer is attached). The bacteria in the roots help cleans the fish
water,
 the action aerates it a bit, the water plants help clean the water and
feeds
 the fish. Each 2 liter bottle can hold 4-10 plants.
     So, you can see that this makes growing your own vegetables and
herbs
 feasible for many people since it overcomes the problems of
insufficient
 space and time. Once its set up, it only needs a little monitoring and
 harvesting.
     A larger version (22'x7'x22'x7', 2'deep water and about 7' high) is
also
 operating successfully in my backyard. This would be an ideal project
for all
 schools everywhere, as it has about 720 bottles and is also a great
learning
 device, besides creating a never ending supply of organic veggies,
herbs, and
 fish. Inside the water there is fish, water plants (water hyacinth,
azolla),
 turtles, frogs, and crayfish. We may put a 6' anaconda in there as well
along
 with some tree frogs.
     Our goal is to see this being implemented as widely as possible. We
would
 be happy to advise and help others in any way we can. The cost is
around
 $1000 for the large one, depending on how much wood and windows can be
found
 or gotten very cheap. The main expenses are the pumps about $60 each,
timer
 $80, the corrugated plastic greenhouse roofing. The hosing, s hooks,
wire,
 shredded bark for growing medium, seeds, clay balls or stones to allow
flow,
 are negligible. Labor should be volunteered by children and parents. 2
liter
 plastic pop bottles need to be collected.
     I tell you all this, with the hope that you will see the value of
this
 and perhaps decide to share this with the schools you work with and
your
 colleagues to help get this happening everywhere. I would be interested
in
 your thoughts. Also, you are welcome to come and visit anytime, and we
would
 be happy to advise and help in any way we can.

 Most Organically,
 Tom Osher
 San Francisco
 www.bagelhole.org



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