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>> ROB NASH IS A FARMER, BUT HE DOESN'T WORRY ABOUT ALKALINE SOIL OR AMENDING CLAY.
HE DOESN'T HAVE A TILLER OR WEEDS OR A HUGE WATER BILL.
INSTEAD HE QUICKLY HARVESTS ROBUST CROPS FOR THE MARKET IN AN AQUAPONICS GREENHOUSE.
HE'S LIVING HIS DREAM JOB. >> LIKE SO MANY PEOPLE MY SEVENTH YEAR AT
MY OFFICE JOB AT THE INSURANCE COMPANY, I DECIDED, YOU KNOW, THIS IS JUST NOT SOMETHING
I SEE MYSELF DOING FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. >> WENT FOR HIS PASSION, GROWING LOCAL FOOD
FOR FAMILIES. HIS AVOCATION LED HIM TO AQUAPONICS AFTER
11 YEARS WITH HYDROPONICS. IN 2012 HE BUILT THE FIRST OF TWO GREENHOUSES
ON ROCKY LAND THAT WOULD NEVER SUPPORT FOOD CROPS.
AN INNOVATOR HE GROWS TWO KINDS OF AQUAPONICS CULTURE, A WICKING BED AND SOME HYDROPONICS.
HE NAMED THE FARM HANNA LEIGH AFTER HIS DAUGHTERS HANNA AND RYELY.
HIS WIFE AND DAUGHTERS APPLAUDED THE MISSION FOR HEALTHY, LOCAL AND RESOURCEFUL FOOD.
>> I THINK IT'S NEAT. I TELL HIM ALL THE TIME YOU'RE THE NAME SAKE.
THIS IS YOUR FARM TOO. >> IT'S KIND OF FUN BECAUSE ALL MY FRIENDS
WHEN THEY ASK WHAT MY DAD DOES, I GET TO TELL THEM ALL ABOUT THIS AND THEY SEEM PRETTY INTERESTED
IN IT. >> WHAT IS AQUAPONICS?
ACTUALLY, IT'S A COMBINATION OF CULTURE, RAISING FISH AND HYDROPONICS, SOILLESS AGRICULTURE.
>> WHEN WE PUT THE TWO TOGETHER IN A CONSTRUCTED CLOSED LOOP ECOSYSTEM WE GET THE BENEFIT OF
NATURE'S BACTERIAL PROCESS. SO BY COMBINING FISH, PLANTS AND BACTERIA,
WE WIND UP WITH A SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP WHERE THE FISH PROVIDE NUTRIENTS FOR THE PLANTS,
THE PLANTS FILTER THE WATER FOR THE FISH. >> THERE ARE TWO METHODS.
ONE IS MEDIA BASED WHERE ROB COMBINES LOCAL PINK GRANITE AND RIVER ROCK.
EVERY 30 MINUTES FISH TANK WATER PUMPS TO THE BEDS.
WORMS IN BACTERIA BREAK DOWN AMMONIA FROM FISH WASTE INTO NITRATES, A NATURAL PLANT
FERTILIZER. THE GRAVEL ALSO SEPARATES THE SOLIDS.
THE PROCESS RETURNS CLEAN WATERS TO THE FISH TANK.
>> ROB ALSO DIRECTS SOME OF THE CLEANSED WATER THROUGH AN EXTERNAL FILTER TO HIS RAFT BEDS.
THE SECOND METHOD OF AQUAPONICS CULTURE. >> SO NOW THAT THE WATER HAS GONE THROUGH
THE MEDIA BEDS AND THE ADDITIONAL FILTER, IT COMES IN HERE AND INTO THIS RAFT, WHICH
WE BASICALLY HAVE ABOUT 12 INCHES OF WATER, WHICH GIVES YOU PLENTY OF ROOM FOR THE ROOTS
TO GROW DOWN. WE RUN AIR THROUGH HERE SO THAT THIS IS HYPER
AIR RATED, WHICH GIVES THE PLANTS MORE VIGOROUS GROWTH.
AS YOU CAN SEE BY RUNNING IT THROUGH THE FILTER YOU KEEP THESE NICE CLEAN ROOTS.
>> HE STARTS ON FEED AND COIR FIBER TO REDUCE PATHOGENS, MATURE TRANSPLANT MOVE INTO NET
POTS FOR THE RAFT. >> WE ARE ABLE TO PRODUCE A LETTUCE IN 45
DAYS THAT WOULD TYPICALLY TAKE 60. HERE IS A LETTUCE THAT'S ONLY BEEN IN THE
SYSTEM FOR RIGHT AT 45 DAYS. AND IT'S READY TO HARVEST.
>> IN THE MEDIA BEDS HE TRANSPLANTS DIRECTLY. >> WITH AQUAPONICS WE'RE TYPICALLY ALLOWED
TO PLANT OUR PLANTS AS MUCH AS TWICE AS DENSE AS IN GROUND.
>> MULTI TASKING WATER AND SPACE, ROB PUMPS WATER FROM THE RAFT TO A HYDROPONIC TOWER
AND BACK TO THE RAFT. HE GROWS WITH WATER EFFICIENCY IN A WICKING
BED TOO. >> WICKING BEDS ARE A GREAT WAY TO GROW ORGANIC
PRODUCE WITHOUT THE ELECTRICAL REQUIREMENTS OF AQUAPONICS.
THE WICKING BED IS A BOX WITH A WATERPROOF LINER IN THE BOTTOM AND THEN WE WILL PUT A
MEDIA IN THERE SUCH AS GRAVEL SO THAT WE CAN FLOOD THAT BOTTOM SIX INCHES WITH WATER.
ON TOP OF THE GRAVEL WE WOULD USE A WEED BLOCK AND THEN PUT OUR CORE SOIL BLEND ON TOP OF
THAT AND THAT KEEPS THE ROOTS FROM GROWING DOWN INTO THAT WATER RESERVOIR.
>> THROUGH A PVC PIPE ROB FILLS IN WITH HOMEMADE COMPOST TEA.
HE TOPS IT OFF WITH WATER AND ORGANIC FERTILIZERS. >> WATER WILKS UP THROUGH THE SOIL AND THE
SOIL STAYS PERFECTLY MOIST WITHOUT YOU HAVING TO WATER IT DAILY.
>> ROB CHOSE TILAPIA FOR HIS FISH TANKS. >> THEY DO NEED THE WATER TO REMAIN WARM DURING
THE WINTER MONTHS. BY KEEPING THE WATER, 60, 65 DEGREES THE FISH
WILL CONTINUE TO METABOLIZE THE FOOD AT A USEFUL RATE.
THAT KEEPS THE PLANTS GROWING THROUGH THE WINTER, WHICH IS REALLY THE DEVELOPMENT.
>> AS ROB DEMONSTRATES IN CLASSES ON HIS PATIO FOR HOME GARDENERS, AQUAPONICS CAN BE DONE
OUTSIDE AS LONG AS FISH ARE PROTECTED FROM CRITTERS AND THE WATER TEMPERATURE KEPT WARM.
HE HAS ULTIMATE CONTROL IN THE GREENHOUSE, THOUGH, WHERE HE GROWS BASIL EVEN IN WINTER
AND CARRIES WINTER CROPS LIKE KALE AND LETTUCE THROUGH THE END OF JUNE.
>> IF I ADD A SMALL CHILLER WALL OR AN EVAPORATIVE COOLER AND SOME ADDITIONAL SHADE I SHOULD
BE ABLE TO GROW LETTUCE THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER. >> IT'S IMPORTANT TO MAINTAIN A RATIO BETWEEN
FISH AND PLANTS. IT'S EASY TO TEST WITH A TYPICAL HOBBY AQUARIUM
KIT. HE ALSO TESTS PH.
>> IN CENTRAL TEXAS WITH OUR ALKALINE WATER, PH IS ALWAYS CONSIDERED AN ISSUE.
THERE IS A POINT AS YOUR SYSTEM MATURES AT, SAY, THREE TO SIX MONTHS, WHEREAS THE SYSTEM
WILL BECOME ACIDIC AND YOU WILL BEGIN TO HAVE TO RAISE YOUR PH AND HAVING A HIGH ALKALINITY
WATER IN CENTRAL TEXAS IS REALLY YOUR BENEFIT. >> THE BIGGEST ADVANTAGE IS WATER CONSERVATION.
>> WITH AQUAPONICS THERE'S ABSOLUTELY ZERO WASTE.
THE ONLY WATER THAT'S ADDED TO THE SYSTEM IS DUE TO PLANT UP TAKE AND EVAPORATION.
ONE PERSPECTIVE IS IF YOU THINK ABOUT WATERING YOUR LAWN WITH A GARDEN HOSE FOR EVEN 30 MINUTES,
YOU CAN USE AS MUCH AS THREE OR FOUR HUNDRED GALLONS OF WATER JUST IN A SMALL THOUSAND
SQUARE FOOT LAWN. >> THE SAME THING WITH A GARDEN.
IF YOU RAN YOUR GARDEN HOSE FOR AN HOUR, IT COULD BE AS MUCH AS 600 GALLONS OF WATER.
IN THIS ENTIRE GREENHOUSE FACILITY WE USE LESS THAN 400 GALLONS PER WEEK.
>> ROB MARKETS TO RESTAURANTS THAT VALUE LOCAL FOOD PICKED JUST TODAY AND JUST FOR THEM.
YOU'LL ALSO FIND HIM AT THE LONE STAR FARMERS MARKET THANKS TO ASSISTANCE FROM INTERN JOHNNIE
WOHL. THE IT IS A FAMILY COMMITMENT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE,
LIVE HERE, EAT HERE. >> MOSTLY WE ARE ALL REALLY PROUD OF ROB.
ROB HAS BEEN WORKING ON THIS FOR A LONG TIME, AND WE HAVEN'T EXACTLY BEEN ABLE TO BE A PART
OF IT EVERY STEP OF THE WAY, BUT WE'VE ALWAYS BEEN THERE SUPPORTING HIM AND WATCHING HIM
MAKE THIS COME TO LIFE IS REALLY EXCITING. REALLY EXCITING FOR US.
WE'RE REALLY PROUD OF HIM.
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Aquaponics | Austin Aquaponics | Central Texas Gardener

929 Folder Collection
lin.12345678 published on December 23, 2015
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