Godney Aquaponics

Godney Aquaponics
In the village of Godney, with the beautiful back drop of the Glastonbury Tor, Melv and Sal are embarking on a new venture. Fed up with the poor quality of veg in the shops, they have the ambition to set up an aquaponics system to provide fresh vegetables and salad crops for the village, and with a little help from their hens a supply of fresh free range eggs too.

What is Aquaponics??

What is Aquaponics??
Aquaponics is a sustainable method of producing quality food with minimal external inputs. It is a system that combines conventional aquaculture (e.g. fish in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. Water from the aquaculture system is fed to the hydroponic system where the by-products are broken down and are utilised by the plants as nutrients, and the water is then re-circulated back to the aquaculture system.

Monday 29 October 2018

Autumn survivors

Frosty mornings in October can be a testing time for growing, but we have had a few surprises. Before the frost our latest veg box was made up of quite a wide selection of goodies.

The aubergenes have naturally come to an end, and the tomatoes will soon follow, but we thought that the frosts would reduce our ability to offer berries - but the strawberries are still stunning, producing perfect fruits and still flowering!

 And the raspberries radiant, large crimson berries, plump and juicy

Another surprise has been the purple mangetout, which continues to flower and produce beautiful purple pods, regardless of the freezing overnight temperatures

However talking of radiant the Swiss chard is still a major contender

Saturday 27 October 2018

Lunch today

My word it was cold outside today - so there is nothing better than a selection of hand picked veg and salad to remind you and bring back memories of the warmer summer months.

From homemade pickled gherkins and chilies to baby plum and black Russian tomatoes, red veined sorrel to red batavia leaves and of course added crunch provided from traditional carrots to the exotic Chinese water melon radish - delicious.

Another summer favourite were the tennis ball sized brandy wine tomatoes - can't wait for next year...

Tuesday 9 October 2018

Reuse & recycle

Making compost is going to be a huge part of what we do to provide the material we need for our raised beds and growing vegetables via conventional methods.

This time of year cutting back and removing plants that have grown all they can is a common activity. Trimming back the Swiss chard produces a lot of leaf and this needs a home.

Melv has spent the last couple of days making a new compost heap, complete with drop boards, all from recycled materials, and already it has been put to good use.

All our salad leaves...

and watercress are grown in trays and are sold as living plants which are harvested by the customer as needed.

Once harvested by the customers, the trays are returned as cropped trays, with the compost left in.

These used trays we then add to the compost heat, wash the trays and fill again...
This means that our compost goes full cycle, as we reuse all the growing media we use.

Saturday 6 October 2018

Making sure we are fit for purpose

The demand for our salad leaves over the summer put us in to a spin and we needed to draw on Melv's building skills - yet again to make us fit for purpose! We were desperate for somewhere to put our growing salad leaves out of harms way to enable them to mature. Weather and insects were our main enemies - so we needed to prepare a meshed covered area which provided shade.

The first job was to flatten the ground and lay the foundations - Melv put the stone down and we were ready to go...

The frame goes up...

The roof is on, next the sides to keep the insects and weather off.

Melv makes the racking to hold the trays

Once the ends are filled in - we are there, our salad tunnel is complete

Ready to hold 400 salad trays - we're gearing up!

Home grown

Now normally with our horticultural hats on when we talk about home grown we are refering to vegetables. But for the first time since we hav...