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.

Saturday 14 March 2020

From a cool box dumped on a drove to a hot box

On an early morning cycle ride, I glanced down this drove to see a large upright fridge dumped on the verge, just next to this mattress. I felt sorry that people would still do such things and little did I think that a couple of weeks later we would have a use for it...

Other than the fact that it was not in working order - hence it being dumped - it was still in good shape and barely damaged. Just a small amount of rust and a few scratches, it even still had it's glass shelves all intact - quite amazing considering that it had probably been thrown out of the back of a vehicle - now it was destined for much better things...

It was going to be made into a hot box to help us grow a rather special micro - sweet corn shoots.

But first it needed cleaning  and sterilising and then a bit of adaptation work - Melv was on to it in a flash.
Once clean and respectable, Melv began with the the installation of a small 40 watt heater, our shoots like it hot and this low wattage heater in an insulated box was going to do the trick.

It fitted perfectly in the cavity usually occupied by the crisper and our hot box was starting to take shape - we moved it into place.

It sat nicely next to our existing chest freezer, with the thermometer installed we tested the temperature and found that the heater running at just half its capacity provided the temperature we needed, we were ready to go.

Shelves installed, the trays of sweet corn shoots took up their place, the hot box should provide the perfect conditions - the shoots need to be grown in the dark and warm - we hoped they were going to be in their element.

24 hours later our hopes had been realised and the proof of the pudding wasn't in the eating but in the growth rate - it was incredible...

In just 24 hours shoots had grown a minimum of 2cm and up to 4cm - I have never seen such a responsive plant - out hot box was a hit with this little micro

After their overnight growth the shoots were ready for the Sheppey Inn to serve with their Friday sword fish - perfect timing - thanks to our new hot box. Used as a unique garnish, they provide a rather special taste. The first bite gives a sweetness of traditional freshly picked sweetcorn, which is followed by a taste probably best described as intense sweet bubble-gum that lingers in quite a remarkable way. A micro that should certainly be on everyone's list as a must try - quite unforgettable for such a small, delicate and unassuming shoot.

The other bonus is that the next time I did my early morning cycle ride, when I glanced down the drove there was no dumped fridge to be seen and it was great to think it had been recycled and given a new lease of life, this time to grow food rather than preserve it!!

Monday 9 March 2020

Spring is here - for Connovers Colossal

Our Connovers Colossal asparagus is ready. The 3-year wait is over, we finally get to reap the rewards  and have one of the treats of being in the horticultural business. Now growing in the tunnel the large thick spears are poking their heads up through and they are growing as you watch them at over a cm as day! After a sneaky try just to check that the spears do have the exceptional flavour claimed - which we can confirm they do - we offered them to the Sheppey Inn as we had promised to do. 

Godney Asparagus is going on the menu...

And so it did with sword fish, Godney collard greens

Garnished with Godney salad, Godney pea shoots and Godney sweet corn shoots

Sweet corn shoots are our latest find, grown as a micro, in the dark over just a 5 day timeframe they have a taste like nothing else. They have a distinctive sweet corn tang, but the sweetness is almost indescribable, akin to that of candy, but a succulent texture that completely contradicts the sugary hit - just amazing...

Friday 6 March 2020

Godney Aquaponics hits social media!!

Thanks to Somerset Local Food Direct, Godney Aquaponics have now got a place on social media...

Look out for Mrs Whiteness - the star of the show...

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...