The water in our aquaponics system has been warming over the last few weeks as spring finally set in. Every few days I look into the water to see if there is any sign of tilapia fry in the tank and this morning, there were. I madly scrambled around and created a home for them. I made a square out of PVC tubing and elbows so it would float and then put that around a pond plant pot to secure the fry from the big bad adults in the system. So far, I've only found three little ones, but I'll keep watching and adding any more I find into the containment area.
I spent this past weekend visiting my Mother and daughter. The last morning the three of us enjoyed a walk through my Mother's garden. She has almost a half an acre of yard, part in a small orchard and the rest in lush gardens.
Last spring, my Mother decided she could no longer maintain her small garden pond. With the help of friends and some family members, they emptied the pond and pulled out the liner and other associated parts. They then filled the hole with a combination of compost and soil scraped off the orchard area in an effort to level it some.
What is soil? Most people call it dirt. It brings to mind pictures of children's dirty faces or dirty floors or worse yet, germs and bugs and other nasties. And, in some ways those pictures are correct. But soil is so much more.
Soil is comprised of minerals, organic matter, microorganisms, space and water
The minerals are what we normally think of when we consider "dirt". It is really broken down rock. The type of rock determines the type of minerals available in the soil. The texture can be very fine clay, slightly larger silt, gritty sand or even rocks of various sizes.
Two years ago we built a solar greenhouse. The beauty of the greenhouse has been fresh tomatoes in January, a quiet place to escape and a learning space for gardening and nature. This year we decided we would add an aquaponics system to the greenhouse.
I spent the day in the greenhouse yesterday, cleaning up the aquaponics system. It is amazing to have plants growing lushly in November and finding lots of ripe peppers and tomatoes. They do seem to love the environment in there.