Our experiments with IAVS..

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Posted (edited)

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.

Edited by vkn (see edit history)

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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.


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.


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.


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
Sanitation related issues
More work to be done in tomato trellis and cluster support.


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


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.

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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

- night blooming ridgegourd and snakegourd flowers in the hanging garden

- 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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