vkn

Our experiments with IAVS..

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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.
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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.

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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

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Posted (edited)

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.

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Happy aquaponicing, Noble team!

Edited by vkn
Typos (see edit history)

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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.

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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?

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First inflorescence of Enza Zaden cherry tomatoes in aquaponics sand culture yield trials.. here is an image FYI.

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Second most consumable vegetable after potato in the world, first in terms of total nutrients to human diet among vegetables, consumed in fresh form and various processed forms like soup, sauce, ketchup, puree, paste, canned, etc., tomato tops the list of processed vegetables.  In aquaponics sand culture, semi-indeterminate Arka Rakshak tomato yields have been proved several times at >150 kg per m2 per year (@4 plants x 2.6 crops x 15 kg).  Commercial aquaponics if done right is not a diabolical fantasy.

We are very enthusiastic about this trial at NARDC.  Today’s consumers want vegetables that are both tasty and healthy (pesticide-free).  Priced at average Rs. 150/- per kg (INR), highest being Rs. 300/-, add 30% organic premium rate, there is absolute market potential for cherry tomatoes in India.

Your comments?

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After dark pest scouting in the backyard aquaponica could also yield some interesting scenes such as these.. 

- roof touching papaya tree inside a rain-shelter structure, several trees in the trial were cut down due to this

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- night blooming ridgegourd and snakegourd flowers in the hanging garden

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- tomato army worm, this could make a leafless plant in a couple of days.  Prevention (with a capital P) is better than cure.. an alert to use 'Panchasoothram' from hereon.

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VKN, I hope that you and your family are safe.  Have you been impacted by the flooding?

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Hi VKN

On 18.8.2018 at 11:55 AM, GaryD said:

VKN, I hope that you and your family are safe.  Have you been impacted by the flooding?

+ 1

Been thinking a lot about you, when watching the news

cheers

 

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Thank you for expressing your concerns. Several things happening around us and I have almost got sidetracked with them.  So is this delayed reply.
 
Fortunately our location, Nanniode, is in high grounds and we did not have any adverse effect at all.  One of our aquaponics replications was submerged under water completely for a week or so.. It being a raised fish culture tank, fish are safe.  Plants were lost almost 90% except some tall peppers.  Cleaning of mud/renovation work is currently going on.  Hopefully it goes well.

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FYI.. The projects that are currently being replicated are as follows..

1. CSAF Madurai, a prototype project in 180 m2 build area, built to test the concepts for a much larger commercial replication hopefully in between 100 and 1000 acreage area.  We will have both solution and substrate culture models such as nutrient flow culture, raft culture, and sand culture here.

2. CSAF Bangalore Zone 3, 1000 m2 CEA-GH, first of its kind and largest installation we made this far.

3. TNJFU's second demonstration project in collaboration with ICAR-KVK at Nagapattinam, Tamilnadu, 200 m2.

NARDC works Aug-Sep 2018.jpg

Edited by vkn (see edit history)

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We at NARDC are the first prize winners in the BEST Start-up Company category at RISC 2018 organized by NIRDPR, Hyderabad!

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Oh, did you know we have become a private limited company since December 2017 after having been working on aquaponics ways of organic farming for over 6 years with a focused purpose of "global replication of right aquaponics organic farming movement for water conservation and food security!" NARDC is currently working in partnership with several universities, NGOs, the private sector organizations, individual farmers and certified sustainable aquaponics franchisees (CSAF) developing scalable aquaponics organic farming solutions that have a real impact on poverty reduction, food security and ecosystem health. 

This national recognition means a new beginning for us.  Lots more can be accomplished working together with RTP, NIRDPR and Ministry of Rural Development team at national level.  Over to you..

Edited by vkn (see edit history)

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Papaya yield trial in aquaponics sand culture..

This is the first yield trial at NARDC to access the commercial suitability of red lady hybrid papaya cultivar in aquaponics sand culture conditions. They are being evaluated for growth, yield, quality and pest incidences.

The progress has been satisfactory up to now. Here is a picture for you.

Papaya in Aquaponics Sand Culture 040918.jpg

 

 

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VKN,

Glad you have avoided the majority of the flooding.

Regarding your papaya tree cultivation, are you growing those in your typical rectangular sand bed that is about 12" deep or are you using a different setup...?

Sure appreciate all the good photos and insight you provide.

Stay dry..........mh

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6 hours ago, mhaigh said:

VKN,

Glad you have avoided the majority of the flooding.

Regarding your papaya tree cultivation, are you growing those in your typical rectangular sand bed that is about 12" deep or are you using a different setup...?

Sure appreciate all the good photos and insight you provide.

Stay dry..........mh

Hi MH, they are supposedly dwarf papaya species growing in the old/matured 12-16 inches deep sand culture beds.  I was initially worried about the roots effecting the liners.  I had to cut down many when they began hitting the roof of the rain shelter structure. Noted they have medium tap roots and have developed many side feeders, the largest concentration being at the top 10 inches.  There is no risk with shorter beds but if I do the same thing over again, I would keep slightly deeper filter beds and more spacing for trees such as papaya, banana, or black pepper plants.

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Fresh after-school snacks for kids today..

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It's the first fruit of Red Lady papaya in aquaponics sand culture yield trial at Nanniode. Hope they make better cuts for you next time.. :)

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"The fruit of your own hard work is the sweetest." - Deepika Padukone -

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The fruits from this papaya tree is almost there.. This is from our aquaponics sand culture yield and optimization trials at NARDC. No need for any fancy plumbing or filtration gimmicks. Your satisfaction will come only from the doing and not in the telling.

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Working with CSAF Madurai in producing tonnes of mint leaves per day..

It has given a new dimension to us growing in commercial aquaponics sand culture in acreage scale, hopefully in several acres of mint/coriander production. What do you think are the challenges ahead? Any large scale mint growers?

Pictured is high quality fresh-cut mint for today's breakfast at Nanniode.

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10 days mint yield data in aquaponics sand culture..

152 grams per square feet at 8-9 inches. Expecting 300+ grams per square feet at about 12-16 inches long in 20 days.

Mint in Aquaponics Sand Culture.jpg

Is this good or bad? Currently looking out to compare this data with other organic growing techniques including soil culture. Can anyone point me to a study?

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Good leadership is about capacity building. That's what TNJFU is focusing on. A good leader is not someone who gives you the fish - he is the one who teaches you how to fish.

 

Current agriculture technologies fail to consider the underlying problems which are destroying agriculture. NARDC has the knowledge to implement and replicate Aquaponics organic farming movement combining the RAS (recirculating aquaculture systems) and organic olericulture on scale. That's what we are happily working with TNJFU.

 

As we complete phase 1 works today at TNJFU-ICAR-KVK Aquaponics demonstration facility at Sikkal, Nagapattinam, here is a picture for you. More later.

TNJFU-ICAR-KVK aquaponics 300918.jpg

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New product we are now distributing..Heirloom Clove Beans Seeds.

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Scientific name: Ipomoea Muricata
Common names: Nitya Vazhuthana (നിത്യവഴുതന), Kattuthali (Tamil), Mitchi (Hindi and Bengali), Garyo (Gujarati), Gariya (Marathi), etc.

These heirloom clove beans facing almost extinction are being raised in our aquaponics sand culture nursery facility that are naturally decontaminated and controlled for diseases.  This gives you a good healthy plant to start with.  This is very important.

It is a very easy-to-grow vining plant and can be grown throughout the year.  The tender and swollen pedicel of the fruit is used as a delicious vegetable.  The edible fruits are prepared into tasty curries just as brinjal, okra, or coccinia (little gourd).  Leaves are used in natural pest control.  It is replicated using seeds.

FYI..

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Another aquaponics peeragogy meeting with the fisheries scientists, professors Suguna and Veerabadra Rao, at SVVU-FRS, Undi, AP..

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Commercial scale planting of tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, okra, and a local variety of chakkarakeli bananas are in their first crop that began today.  More later.

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We were playing with sand again at ISKCON Aquaponics today!

This is a prototype open-field partial rain-shelter protected structure build in about 200 m2 for hopefully a much larger commercial aquaponics enterprise in multiple acreage scale by NARDC's CSAF Madurai - Avyukta Aquaponics.

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Fish planned - Koi Carp

Plants in yield trials - Coriander (Cilantro), Mint, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Chillies, Brinjal, Snakegourd, Bittergourd, Ash gourd, Pumpkin, Paneer Rose, Marikolundhu (artemisia pallens), etc.

Techniques in yield comparison trials - sand culture flood/drain, sand culture constant flow, sand bucket culture, cucumber mats, vining crops in A-frame; semi-decoupled raft culture, nutrient flow culture in A-frame and vertical frame, etc.

A go-live event by ISKCON is planned on October 19, 2018. More later. Questions welcome!

Edited by vkn
Typos (see edit history)

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For the pacu lovers..

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Here is an image of the red-bellied pacu (nutter) seedlings that were added today at SVVU Aquaponics, Fisheries Research Station, Sree Venkateswara Veterinary University, Undi, Andhrapradesh, India.

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Sugarcane as teatime snacks..

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Grown in aquaponics sand culture for kids, they are more sugary and tasty!

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Always interesting to see what is possible in the sandbeds.  Seems it's going to be a short list of what won't grow in the sandbeds. Keep up the good work .

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13 hours ago, Aufin said:

Always interesting to see what is possible in the sandbeds.  Seems it's going to be a short list of what won't grow in the sandbeds. Keep up the good work .

Thank you Aufin.  Way to go!

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