san-diego-skyline-drawing-23When I flew in to San Diego, my friends Ray and Tony picked me up at the airport and took me to my folks’. Mom wasn’t in any shape to be driving around and Dad needed to stay with her. So I had the opportunity to visit with my besties, eat lunch at DZ Akins’ , and take a tour of Hatfield Creek Aquaponics farm.

IMG_4749Full disclosure: the Hatfield Creek Aquaponics farm is owned by my brother and sister-in-law. I did a short feature on them when they were still in their experimental phase. They have done a great deal of work and spent tons of money getting the system up and running, and keeping the fish healthy, etc.  Ray and Tony were extremely interested in the process and were excited to take the tour.  This is one of the green houses that is set up with the grow bed, etc. You may be asking yourself, what exactly is aquaponics? You’re in luck, because I happen to have a graphic that will help explain the system.aquaponics You’re welcome!

img_4751.jpegTimm and Shannon (my brother and sister-in-law) have a huge tank that has been stocked with koi at the moment. Koi seem to be forgiving of temperature changes, where the talapia that they tried, kept succumbing to the cold. Their koi are kept under a hoop house with a protective covering. They do have a solar panel hooked up to help regulate the temperature in the winter, but Shannon says there are some bugs that need to be worked out.

IMG_4745The vegetables, flowers,  and microgreens they produce are wonderful! The micro greens that Shannon is holding in this photo are: sunflower green, and purple basils. These are not sprouts but a little bigger and the pack a huge flavor punch. They are wonderful added to salads or on sandwhiches. We had (home grown) roast beef sandwiches with the sunflower micro greens; amazingly delicious! You would not believe the flavor from those basil micro greens either… almost more flavorful than the full grown plants. I have also enjoyed the lettuce varieties that they have grown, so tender and juicy. This past spring, Shannon tried a variety of edible flowers – which were deliciously spicy. It’s so fun.

IMG_4748This photo of her grow beds can give you an idea of how they are generated. In the very foreground are the some type of micro green that I didn’t taste, then are the sunflowers, then the purple basil… following that are lettuces, just beginning to grow.  The water comes in under those beds and nourishes the plants; plants clean the water and the fish get it back. Nice system. Shannon supplies a nice little coffee and sandwich shop up in Julian and, recently, began delivery to one of our very favorite restaurants in Wynola: Jeremy’s on the Hill. I was so happy for them when this came through. They are hoping that their next contract will be with John Little Catering, which is opening a restaurant soon in Santa Ysabel. Oh, and they sell eggs too! If you’re interested in sampling some of their fresh eggs or veggies, are in San Diego County,  and wouldn’t mind a wonderful drive through the countryside – check them out at the Santa Ysabel Farmer’s market on Sundays. I think it’s from 10-1, but I’ll try to confirm that for you.  NOPE: just heard back from Shannon, it’s 12-4 at Drew Brees Real Estate on the Junctions of Hwys 78 and 79. I’m trying to get Shannon to start a Facebook page or Instagram account for the farm, if that happens – I’ll be sure to share that information with you as well. Until then, as always~
Thanks for reading!

Today’s Weather: OK – since I’m not home, I’m sharing the information that I get from my weather app. High today in Hereford is only supposed to be 86°. Currently – at 12:41 p.m. – it has reached 83°… might be slightly hotter than that at the house. Partly cloudy today, some winds: ssw at 9 mph. zero chance of rain, 42% humidity, barometric pressure reading 29.94 inHg. Sunrise today was at 6:01 and sunset will be at 6:30.

Egg Report: Last night, Sue sent the following egg report… Saturday – 24 chicken, 0 duck. Sunday – 31 chicken, 1 duck. Monday – 29 chicken, 2 duck. Tuesday 29 chicken, 2 duck. What’s up with those ducks? Chicken numbers seem to be normal; low, but normal.

IMG_4752Fun Photo: Here’s the fun photo for today. I saw this little tableau while visiting the Hatfield Creek Aquaponics farm. I don’t think I need to say anything else about it.  I laughed so hard, I cried.