January 2020 Update

Winter 2020 has rolled around this January and things have been running relatively smoothly. We’ve been having great luck growing lettuce, peas, and beans. We even put up a hammock where we can kick back and soak in some vitamin D from the grow lights. It’s a nice, cozy spot to relax and read a book when the winter blues start to set in.

As you can see above, we’ve harvested some beautiful greens for my neighbors and family members to enjoy. This is a Salanova bibb lettuce. This type of lettuce is bred to maximize individual leaf count and to be super easy to break down. All that’s needed is to cut the small heart out of the head and all the leaves fall away.

Our fish are also doing great. I applied a filter to the image to get rid of the normal yellow tea tint to the water so you can see all the fish in their glory. We have 3 different types in the 600 gallon tank. We have red, black, and blue tilapia and they’re all quite happy in the relatively consistent 65F degree water. We were pleasantly surprised at how well the fish do at this temperature and most of the fish are around 6″ with a few around 8″. We also added three 10″ common plecos (armored catfish) to keep the tank squeaky clean.

Being a novice farmer, I’m still trying to get a good grasp on scheduling crops so that we can maintain enough to filter the water when we come to harvest. I still have spikes in nitrates at times up over 80ppm which requires us to stop feeding the fish for a few days until it comes back down. It’s a work in progress and nothing negative has came from it so far.

We’re still working on it

In previous posts we discussed having humidity issues due to our ventless natural gas heater expelling large amounts of water vapor. We recently purchased a standard vented furnace that will be replacing that shortly and hopefully that will fix our issues.

We’ve also ran into issues with our cheap air stones clogging quicker than expected and cleaning them only partially clears them out. We’ve tried boiling, brushing, bleaching, and acid baths and while this helps, it does not return the stones to full functionality.

Early winter, I took in a pot of herbs from my brother that he asked if we could over winter in the greenhouse and it was infested with aphids. We now have an aphid problem that we’re barely keeping in check that also needs to be addressed.

Sorry about the long break in between posts, things have been busy. I should have some time for more updates soon.

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