Friendly home Aquaponics and grow boxes

Friendly home Aquaponics and grow boxes

Aquaponics is such a fun way for all the family to be involved in growing chemical free foods (every type of herb and vegetable) plus growing fish,that words fail to adequately express the family fun and stories of those happy times together.

Whilst we could go fishing somewhere, there is nothing better than going fishing in your own backyard.

Imaging the fun the children are having when they catch a fish and have to decide, is this fish too small – if so put it back and let it grow for a few more weeks, or else, call out “hey Mum I just caught a fish for your dinner tonight”.

A big side advantage is of course, that the children eat all the vegetables placed before them. Even their school friends vote our home as “the best place for vegetables”.

We live in a home with a medium size back yard and are on an average wage so holidays and outing are restricted, although we would love to go on a camping oz holiday, but like to involve our children in various projects (to keep them off the street as my husband likes to add).

Our family did a project of keeping worms which was easy to do and was very successful because it helped our children think more about the environment.

Then Lucy’s class discussed Aquaponics as a project and this caught her imagination to the point where we were asked if part of the back yard could be used for this experiment.

Our son Francis was keen to be involved and showed great signs as a designer or maybe a future architect (or plumber as my husband likes to add followed by “don’t worry they make lots of money”).

When our family was considering to adopt this sort of project and create our very own backyard Aquaponic DIY project, we emphasized to the children that if we do proceed they were required to put in equal time. This has proved to not be an issue because they both love checking out the plants and fish etc and it really takes so little time to maintain.

So we were presented with careful plans about DIY Aquaponic tanks and their placement and all the talk of what was happening here and there that I was a bit scared thinking it was too involved.

Slowly I could understand we were in fact going to replicate Mother Nature in our back yard and create our own eco system.

Then I got so excited but held back on which way I was going to vote on where to proceed or not. I believe even the United Nations could not have provided better representations for a case in favor as my children came forward with more and more reasons for such a home Aquaponic system.

I should tell you that I well remember “the voting day” because was preplanned to be at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon and was not to be a secret ballot, I was even given scones and a pot of tea when it came time to vote.

I fussed and gave time for the others to have their little speech and declare their vote, then when it came to my turn, I really turned it ON.

You would have thought I was the UN representative for the environment as I talked about a home Eco System and of course the children were ecstatic when I declared my vote “in favor”.

Harry (my husband) decided to go and talk to a local plumbing supplier and was greeted encouragingly by one of their staff as he had started in Aquaponics some 5 years earlier. His knowledge was most helpful and now we have “an advisor” which is most helpful.

So when the big day came to pay for all the bits and pieces, Harry was surprised that our home eco system cost far less than he had budgeted for in his project cost.

The children had a wonderful time learning from our advisor (who kindly came over to check on progress) in 3 days was ready to be “turned on” officially (that was one of my duties because my speech was so good).

What fascinated me the most was these eco grow boxes.

I was intrigued by the fact that plants of all type could be grown by placing them with their roots dangling down into the water whilst having some inert mixture of small volcanic rocks used to give then support so that their leaves or stems did not fall into the water solution. We purchased some items from a local hydroponic supplier.

Eventually I could see the children having so much fun and learning so much as they planted seed for propagation in cotton wool, then transferred into smaller pots then eventually placement outside into our family eco system. It really is such a buzz and so thrilling.

Lucy had me drive to our local hydroponic supplier and look at grow boxes. I was surprised at all the various shapes and sizes and followed Lucy’s advise as I got my credit card out to make the shop owner happy that I was another DIY Aquaponic fan (although in his mind I was probably a DIY hydroponic fan). Well never mind he happily took my credit card money.

So when we arrived home I was instructed to place the new grow boxes into the settling tank as “we would not like to upset our home eco system would we Mother” was proclaimed.

Now after 2 years of wonderful fun, lots of fresh taste vegetables and herbs and of course fish, we are now about to take our camping oz holiday and I am please to advise that we have many local children competent enough to look after our DIY eco system whilst we are away.


Category: Aquaponic-Tips