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Everything posted by vkn

  1. Here is some data and a picture album dedicated to Today's Fresh Aquaponics, NARDCs CSAF, a commercial aquaponics sand culture demonstration facility at Kollam, Kerala. Plants in focus: Arka Rakshak tomatoes, Arka Anamika okra, Enza Zaden cucumbers, heirloom snakegourd, bittergourd, bottlegourd, lablab beans, stevia, brijal, etc. Biodiversity and polyculture organic farming is key focus in this demo facility. Mean daily temperature: 29/25 degree celcius Precipitation: 20% Humidity: 86% Wind speed: 11 mph NW Flower buds induction and growth/development of new leaves is adequate. Natural pollination seems normal, however, hand pollination is to be practiced well by the operators. Suggested use of an electric toothbrush as well. Plant stretch and stem elongation rate seems appropriate. Plant diseases hardly observed except a few cases of tomato virus. On rain shelter protected structure: A rain shelter is a greenhouse-like unit, in which only the roof is covered with a transparent or translucent material that is impervious to rain. It can either have no or open sidewalls but has no mechanical ventilation or heating system. Rain shelters are increasingly being viewed as more sustainable than totally enclosed greenhouses because they require a much lower initial capital investment. Temperatures in these structures are generally lower than in totally enclosed greenhouses, and if appropriately managed, yields and productivity are arguably higher than in greenhouses or open field production. Particularly in heavy rain areas, its effectiveness is quite high. Challenges ahead: Cucumber beetle Fruit flies Bittergourd caterpillars Mealybugs Sanitation related issues More work to be done in tomato trellis and cluster support. Whatelse?
  2. Dear all, I have created this topic to document our own IAVS progress and findings.. In brief, we have over 2+ years of hands-on experience working with various commercial-scale Aquaponics systems.. media beds, NFTs, DWCs, etc. We are now building our first batch of sand beds believing in the IAVS vision. This is to apply as an extension to our current systems. Next, I will update you the progress with some pictures. I look forward to your support. Please share your questions, comments, suggestions.. Thank you.. Kind regards, vkn
  3. Noble Aquaponics (NARDCs CSAF Alappuzha) had gone live on Friday. A 100 m2 demonstration farm facility, it is an owner operated subsistence farming model, surplus produce sold to the local community. Noble team will lead the aquaponics replication efforts from now on in Alappuzha district of Kerala. It was kindly inaugurated by the Niranam Gramapanchayat President and Agricultural Officer with blessings from all the near and dear ones of Sreenagesh's family. Happy aquaponicing, Noble team!
  4. Arka Anamika okra cultivar is another crop we found it suitable for cultivation in domestic as well as in large scale commercial aquaponics sand culture units. For the aquaponics data enthusiasts, here is some from our Arka Anamika yield trial.. Note, it is a work in progress. Questions welcome. Number of plants per square meter - 9 Minimum days to flowering - 31.97 Days to fruit setting - 36.87 Maximum plant height - 120.38 cm (still growing) Pods per plant - 20.40 (and counting) Pod weight per plant - 560.6 gm Yield per square meter - 5.045 kg
  5. It was time to train the Enza Zaden cherry tomato plants by attaching the vine twines and vine clips. Here is an update picture of the yield trial at Nanniode.
  6. This info has warned us the need for better precautions and to be sure to follow them wherever possible. Appreciate your thoughts, Big Daddy. FYI.. we have very minimal exposure areas to its dust. I have no idea how they handle it at the mining or crushing/sieving/mixing process though. We get them packed tight in 50 kg bags (value-added). I have to work on appropriate precautions when they are 1) unloaded dry from trucks, 2) carried headloaded dry to the filter beds, 3) times of wet surface levelling, etc. I'm also hoping it for a long time that the quarries wash the dust away before dispatching it. Not so lucky this far. If you could get washed sand, go for it even though it comes at a premium price.
  7. Chanced upon to this info on Quartz Si sand while searching for something on Zeolites.. All good info for the practitioners, so sharing. Comments welcome. http://www.inchem.org/documents/icsc/icsc/eics0808.htm First, PREVENT DISPERSION OF DUST! AVOID ALL CONTACT! SPILLAGE DISPOSAL/personal protection: particulate filter respirator adapted to the airborne concentration of the substance. Sweep spilled substance into covered containers. If appropriate, moisten first to prevent dusting. Wash away remainder with plenty of water. Danger: May cause cancer if inhaled. Causes damage to the lungs, the immune system and the kidneys through prolonged or repeated exposure if inhaled. Do NOT take working clothes home.
  8. Hi Ande, I am aware of this myth and possibly another misconception regarding bottlegourd juice. A member of the cucurbitaceae family, it is a very common vegetable in India and is a hot sell commercially. I have begun drinking its juice raw couple of months ago ever since I was diagnosed as mild diabetic and borderline hypertensive. We grow this amazing vegetable all the time and family uses it cooked.. Experts try to reveal the truth here. Please give it a reading. https://food.ndtv.com/health/is-drinking-lauki-juice-harmful-de-bunking-the-myth-1841589 Also this https://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/7-incredible-benefits-of-drinking-of-bottle-gourd-lauki-juice-1452828. Cheers!
  9. Loki as fresh juice and as a vegetable for today's lunch from the hanging aquaponics gardens at Nanniode.. Some weighing over 2.2 kg, 8-12 fruits per plant at a spacing of 2-3 plants per square meter, consider bottlegourd as another successful vine crop in both domestic and commercial aquaponics sand culture applications. Have you also heard bottlegourds are magic vegetables as a medicine? Any thoughts?
  10. Chanced upon to this NFDB's Matsya Bharat Newsletter.. Several distorted information about our work and NARDC's display pictures.. Request all future journalists and writers to talk with us first and get current relevant and right info and latest pictures on the subjects related to us and other stuff that matters. 1. Great to read a good intro of Dr. Mark R. McMurtry at page 5 para 1 and pàge 11 para 13.2. 2. Happy to see NARDC team 2014 along with MPEDA doing Seabass Aquaponics Nursery demonstration event and news picture of The Hindu newspaper at page 8 para 7. 3. Exciting to see several NARDC pictures at Aquaponics in India development article page 11 para 13.2. Plese note most all given numbers are incorrect. Talk to us again. 4. Good to see one of the NARDC consulted projects in 2014 is featured - Anjali Aquaponics, Telangana; page 11 para 13.3 5. Surprised to see one of the NARDC trainee cum overnight commercial aquaponics consultant is also featured at page 12 para 13.4. 6. Good to see Gary and his microponics is also featured at page 14 para 15. https://www.google.co.in/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://nfdb.gov.in/PDF/NEWSLETTERS/15_Matsya%2520Bharat%2520January-March%25202017.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwjqx46M6vbbAhXFs48KHeqyBlwQFjAAegQIAhAB&usg=AOvVaw0Lm6eqo_6lp0HEi75A4x2C Over to you..
  11. Precisely 3 months and 3 days.. here is a short update from Today's Fresh Aquaponics, our CSAF #1 for Kollam district, Kerala. Total commercial demo build area 800 m2. 1. Fish Nile Tilapia 7000 or so grown from 1 gram to averaging 150 grams, the highest being 220 grams on surface feeding catch. There are bigger ones ready to begin harvests. 2. Plants assorted. Completed spinach and amaranth harvests as secondary crops in a pristine filter, now focussing on Arka Rakshak tomatoes, Arka Anamika okra, hybrid cucumbers including Enza Zaden, and small patches of lablab beans, snake gourds, bitter gourd, stevia, and brinjal plants. 3. Addressing several challenges related to absconding/new operators and IPM. Way to go! More later.
  12. Not Elderberry..maybe similar species. This is black nightshade (Solanum nigrum.) We cook and eat leaves like spinach and use unripe fruits in various dishes. Ripe ones are eaten as is. Considered as a medicinal plant as well.
  13. Enza Zaden cherry tomatoes in aquaponics sand culture.. We started commercial yield trial recently. Has anyone tried this costly seeds at about Rs. 8/- (INR) per seed? Any info on yields and price per kg appreciated. Hopefully end result is like the second picture. Courtesy: Enza Zaden
  14. As evening fruit snacks.. For some it is a weed..my operator at NARDC was about to remove them from our aquaponics sand culture yield trial unit. How many of us can name this plant, say its uses (leaves and fruits) and are aware of its medicinal benefits? “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. - Hippocrates -
  15. Post pictures, Aufin. Not seen one from you for months.
  16. I am closed to debate on this subject, Ande. Sorry, nothing more to add for now please. Have a nice weekend!
  17. Not only in this article, none of the listed ones has a reference to Mark's works. Doesn't it look something strange? Or could be ongoing academic turf war? Somehow I felt the need to point it out..just seems a bit myopic to me. Setting up a study like that or should be better.. coming soon from a couple of universities and private initiatives in India who also believed in what we have been doing. If you do have a question, “But what about when….," I have no clue, Ande. I can only wish and hope people, the new aquaponics adapters, get what is right and it is sustainable. Cheers!
  18. Ande, not really. Clearly they are not aware that sand culture in aquaponics exists. It has been a vital growing system ever since hydroponics came into existence. "The only paper we are aware of is by Lennard and Leonard [15] compares floating rafts, gravel beds, and NFT for growing lettuce in AP and found that NFT produced significantly less biomass and removed the nutrients from fish water less efficiently than the other two systems." Reference #15: Lennard, W.A.; Leonard, B.V. A comparison of three different hydroponic sub-systems (gravel bed, floating and nutrient film technique) in an Aquaponic test system. Aquac. Int. 2006, 14, 539–550. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] References are also made to the works of Rakocy, Adler, Savidov, etc., but they missed this. "McMurtry, M.R., et al. 1990. Sand culture of vegetables using recirculating aquacultural effluents. Applied Agricultural Research. Vol. 5, No. 4. (Fall). p.280.284." Over to you.
  19. Good collection, Ande..but to me it all appears to be half-cooked stories. What am I missing? For example, #5, how could academia make statements like those without comparing the yield results of aquaponics sand culture systems aka iAVs. I couldnt observe mention of Mark anywhere as well. What do you think?
  20. Kids scribble art using aquaponics veggies.. here is another one. Which one did you like? Original or its black & white copy?
  21. And, for today's lunch..
  22. Sunny day..here is a picture of the mini okra forest that we have.. Arka Anamika, the YVMV resistant cultivar of okra (ladies finger) commercial yield trial in aquaponics sand culture at NARDC Nanniode. Seeds are from IIHR, Bangalore. Progress has been good. Harvesting in batches every other day. Plants pumping out baby okras at a good rate. Expecting 25-30 kg per m2 or maybe more this season. It is evident that sand culture is producing greater yields than conventional soil culture for okra. Observed some early stage infestation of leaf rollers, leafhoppers, fruit borers, and mealybugs and we are working on several/most all IPM ways to reduce the potential yield loss due to these pests. Prevention (with a capital P) is always better than cure. Mark used to say this all the time. I am curious to know what are your organic pest management practices and wonder how you take care of your okra crop? Any okra lovers/growers?
  23. Aufin, labels sure..have a dozen or some more to be added in this list. The single white lacey flower is snake gourd and the cluster is that of bottlegourd.
  24. "Little flower, but if I could understand what you are, root and all in all, I should know what God and man is." - Tennyson - These two dozen+ flower pictures are from our backyard aquaponica, Nanniode. Early morning scout and pouring rain today, could not get more clear pictures. If you could not correctly guess any of the plant names, let me know. Biodiversity is the key to sustainable food production especially when you are attempting to grow your own food. No toxic pesticides or chemical fertilizer supplements allowed, whatsoever..
  25. 1. A day for environmental reparations! Wish you another World Environment Day.. 2. This is also the day we at NARDC had begun aquaponics journey of organic farming in 2012 and has continued its work on a daily basis to this day. 3. Pictured is second phase works that began today at CSAF #3 Alappuzha.. Mr. Sree Nagesh, the franchise proprietor, laying the first brick at his demonstration aquaponics facility near Niranam, Kerala.