We are starting an experiment in vermiponics. Our first system is only an indoor experiment very low budget, I've been callling it my getto vermiponics system. If this works I'll expand the system to an outdoor more automated one in the coming growing season.
Over the next week I'll be adding pics to this page to show the simple non automated system.
Okay, it's finally up and in the east window. Had it running last week, but ran into a few problems had to disassemble it fix the issues and now it seems to be operating fine. I'm posting pics, but remember it is a "getto" system pieced w/ what I could find for free or very cheap, and an experiment for growing salad type garden duing the winter and indoors. If this all works I'll work on a more "proper" and automated system for outdoors. This system has no automation or pumps, it uses gravity and human effort. I am adding an air stone tomorrow just to make sure they system does not go anarobic. Right now no plants or worms, I'm running it for a few days to make sure it all works as expected then I will plant and add the worms.
The bin on top of the dresser is the water holding tank (where the fish would go if I was using fish)
The round black object is a found inner tire that is 3 feet in diameter, and sitting on top of a table I already had to hold the rocks and water of the grow bed.
I have a simple tube connecting the water tank and the grow bed. I am simply placing the tube in the grow bed for 20 minutes and letting gravity do it's job, then placing the tube back in the water tank when the grow bed is full.
The liner is a blow up mattress that no longer held air, the grow medium is rocks we gathered from a local outdoor area. We had to sift out the sand and wash the rocks. The center container is just a filter to keep the water tube from getting clogged. The other two tubs (margirine tubs) will be where I put the worm food, large holes are cut in the sides to allow the worms to get in and out.
The white bucket at the bottom of the pic is the drain bucket, the same type of tubing is connecting the grow bed and the drain bucket, and again gravity is doing the work, when it finishes draining to the bucket then the manual work of pouring from the drain bucket to the water bin, then it is all set up and ready for the next cycle.
Well, that's it in a nutshell.
Here is an update.
My garden is sprouting!!!!!!!!!!! I know that is the easy part, any seed will sprout, keeping it alive and growing is the real test, but I'm still so excited!!!!!!!!
Here are the pics.
I planted the seeds on Friday, noticed the first changes, sending roots down on Sunday morning, by Sunday night they were sprouting, then first thing Monday morning these pics were taken. No fish or worms in the system yet. I was going to wait on the worms until things started sprouting. I put dryer lint on the rocks, then put the seeds in that, wasn't sure if they would sprout in just the rocks or if they would wash down through the rocks w/ the flood and drain going on.
It has been a week since the system has been running, and officially the east window in zone 7b, in the winter is not enough light for even cool season leafy greens, the sprouts are very leggy, but today a grow light was added. This may correct the problem, but if not it can be reseeded. Soon we will be adding the worms, then consider adding a couple of feeder goldfish to the works.
I know I didn't update w/ pics, but the process worked very well, I harvested greens all winter. I dismantled the project this spring using the space to start seeds for the out door garden. I consider this a great success. I am going to try a simplified version of this outside this summer, the inside for over winter again. This new plan will not have any moving water from one container to the other, but will have a floating styrofoam plant base and an airstone in the water again so the system won't go anarobic. This new system won't have worms, but still could have a few fish, if chosen correctly. (haven't researched that enough yet b/c I wasn't concentrating on the fish part yet).
This is not the water garden, this is the chicken run/garden rotating idea.
These are the adzuki beans along the new "Tucker can't eat any more of my chickens fence"
Here is a close up of an adzuki plant, they are blooming. The info stated they like to grow in warm weather, but they look suspiciacly pea like to me, and seem to be growing better in the shaded areas.
This is what one of the chicken run/garden spots looks like after 3 wks of chicken occupation
This is what the new spot looks like when they first enter it.
this is the corn/lentil garden spot. Lentils will provide a living mulch and fix nitrogen.
This is where to two gardens meet, they will be surrounded by these tires, and in front of the tires will be the strawberry beds (planted here but not up yet) there will also be blueberry bushes, to shade the strawberries.
This is a view of both garden spots. In the closest one to the far left where the chickens are is the new spot they just entered today w/ lots o' fresh grass, the center is planted in cukes and hot peppers w/ a cut grass "blanket" mulch, and the far right is the run/garden they are just leaving. I will plant it out this week.
pear tree loaded w/ pears
Tomatoes, they are planted in the grass to help act as a green mulch, my FIL swears by it. Do you ever feel like your being watched? (background)
Well that has been a little tour of the garden.
Here is a new experiment in water veggie gardening, this time no moving water, floating the plants on top of the water. It was just set up today so no growth yet, but I will post success or failure when I know.
I have been working on a new garden experiment here are a few pics w/ explanations.
Here are all the supplies (well almost all) Now who wouldn't look at that and think veggie garden?
Here it is all put together. I added chicken poop and oyster shells to the water. Oyster shells for the tomatoes, and chicken poop for well, everything.
I planted and labeled all kinds of garden plants to see what works (if anything) and what doesn't. Tomato, pepper, squash, lettuce, greens, herbs. Did not include any vines b/c I wasn't set up for that or any roots for obvious reasons.
There is dryer lint in the bottom of each cup just to hold the seed until the roots can grow.
Each cup has holes cut in the bottom for the roots to dangle in the water
I will add an air stone to keep it from going anarobic and those anti mosquito biscuits.
Well this experiment didn't work out like I'd hoped, the greens (spinach mustard) would have done well, nothing else even sprouted (well the lettuce did and immediately died). This is all dissassembled now and I'm on the hunt for duckweed to grow in it for the girls.