Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration/Snow Day Update

Well, it's been a long time since I updated this. I actually had done a bunch of work on the hydroponic buckets a while ago, but never got around to taking pictures and getting up a post. Since we had a rare snow day, it seemed like a good opportunity to post some photos. The new work was to create a level platform for the buckets, plumb three separately controlled input lines, as well as tie three new output lines into the existing return line into the pond. I also tied in an output that just dumps into the garden, just in case I want to flush the buckets without sending that water back into the pond. I'm excited about the ability to control the flow to each individual bucket, and I'm also excited about having 3 buckets instead of 2. That means more veggies, more flowers, and the capability for hosting more fish. Fingers crossed that I'll actually be able to get the tilapia this year!

The buckets are not quite done. They are about 2/3 full with gravel, but I'm hoping to get those clay pellets to fill up the rest of the space. I've constructed a PVC pipe grid to deliver the water. I just need to drill holes into them to allow the water to come out. The only thing I'm worried about is the drain. I'm using an existing drain that is installed on the buckets. It's a little small, so I'm worried that roots or leaves or something else may end up clogging the drain. And, I'm worried that if the drain clogs, that it will be difficult to free the clog. We shall see...

I'm also thinking about constructing a bamboo roof to keep out the leaves in the fall, to filter some of the intense summer sun, and maybe act as structure for climbing vines to attach to. I haven't made up my mind how I like it so far, though.

You can see all the fish at the bottom. None have died yet, despite the freezing cold!
Bucket platform and a couple of bamboo posts installed for potential roof system