IMG_0947ABOVE GROUND POOL WITH DECK!  Was it really short, or was that just for me? As you know, I was off visiting my folks – Sue was home working in this amazing heat we’ve been having. What better way to prepare for more of the same than making an above ground pool with decking… for the water fowl, silly!  Here is the 100 gallon tank and the beginning of the decking. Just took her two days to get everything done. Ramp for them to get up there, deck to lay out IMG_0949 (1)on, 100 gallons of water fun… what else could they possibly need? Well, they are just not too sure about it. Roman was in it for a few seconds, but jumped right out. We wanted to get something bigger so that they could really paddle around and have room to dive under. We also wanted to be able to just change some of the water out when it got yucky, instead of dumping those little kiddie pools every other day. We were IMG_0950 (2)using a lot of water! This pool has a drain towards the bottom that will make cleaning it out so much easier.  I think once they realize what it is, they will be happy to have it. It had been outside through the hottest part of the day and the water was still quite cool.  In fact, it was way cooler that the kiddie pools that they were still hanging out in.  It’ll just take a bit of time. 

IMG_1092
Hatfield Creek Aquaponics Farm
While I was away, Belle and I did a quick tour of the Hatfield Creek Aquaponics Farm

img_1068.jpg

Belle, looking over one of the plant beds

(this is the aquaponics farm set up by my brother and sister-in-law, Timm and Shannon, in Ramona). They have spent a whole lot of time and energy getting their system up and running. They have two greenhouse type set-ups running at the moment, we toured the biggest one. This one has mostly lettuce blends and some chives in varying states of growth. Aquaponics and Hydroponics are not the same thing. This biggest difference is the use of fish in Aquaponics. Timm and Shannon have catfish in their tank that are simply

img_1075-e1498009159146.jpg
Catfish and Koi

huge! I tried to take a photo, but they continually move, the darn things. They also have some koi in there that were given to them by our friend Jack, which would rival the size of the Catfish. In another tank they have some fresh water bass. I didn’t see those, but Shannon said that they beat up on the Tilapia so badly she couldn’t raise them together.  Shannon

IMG_1066

Seedlings

plants out the seeds and rings them with a bottomless paper cup, because the earwigs – which are just horrible right now – invade and snip off the seedlings. After they get a few inches tall they are able to remove the ring and let them grow. The seed beds sit atop flowing water from the fish tank, the fish feed the plants and the plants clean the water for the fish. I’ve eaten a lot of their salad greens and they are delicious! My favorite was the butter lettuce from last summer, but all of it was tasty.

IMG_1069

Baby Greens

Just think, if you could get this system going, you could raise Tilapia for your family as well as your vegetables. Shannon is going through the process of getting approved to sell at the area Farmers’ Markets, in California it is a long process, but they are getting closer and closer. She and Timm like to share their experience with others, so look them up if you want to do something more family sized for yourself. For us, this might be something to tackle in the future. We’ve got to get the chicken thing thriving and then we could tackle the fish and greens. As soon as we decide on this project, I’m sure we’ll blog about it here. Until then, as always~
Thanks for reading!


Today’s Weather: One guess… yep, you are right. HOT! When I came home from work today it was 111°. You know it’s hot when you step outside and you can smell the earth just baking. The next few days we’ll be having more of the same.

Egg Report: Today we had three, yesterday we had five. We’ll see how they hold out through the heat this week.