Saturday, October 31, 2009

Light on the subject

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I've been pretty busy lately with winterizing outside plant beds and getting firewood so I haven't spent as much time in my new greenhouse as I want. I did want to talk about the lights and barrelponics though a little bit. The above photo shows what type light I settled on. It is a 600 watt High Pressure Sodium lamp with a parabolic reflector. I got two of them and boy, does it ever throw the light out. Here is a close up of the underside.

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The reflector is 3 feet across. Should be sufficient. This next photo is taken from the field outside my greenhouse and shows how bright the light is.
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Here's another shot. But in this one notice that I have my insulating panels up to show the contrast.
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Now back to Barrelponics. The following photo shows a view of the complete system. The bottom tank holds the fish. The top tank is where the water from the fish tank is pumped up to. and the two half barrels, side by side are the grow beds. I have heard that the inventor, Travis Hughey, at http:/, is working on a new system that does not need an electric pump and will be bigger. So far this one has been really fun for Hank and I. Thanks Travis!
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Here are my fish in the tank (currently they are goldfish, but someday I want Tilapia). Notice the water draining into the fish tank. It is a natural aerator.
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This last photo is another look at the fish in the tank.
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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Water, Electricity and Lights

I've been busy working on greenhouse projects this summer, but now that things are slowing down I'll be posting on a more regular basis. This picture shows the Ditch Witch I rented to make the ditch that I put water pipes and electrical wire into. Four feet deep was my goal. I attained three feet.
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My ditch was about 120 feet. I was limited initially to 20 amps and now I have 50 amps. The Ditch Witch made the job so much faster than a shovel.
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I was running a hose into my greenhouse for my water supply. With my new ditch, I spliced into my well main water line and now have a faucet in the greenhouse. This will make it easier for winter use. I strongly recommend putting your water lines in when you put your foundation in. It was a lot of extra work. I had to dig down four feet to get under the foundation. This photo shows the pvc pipe prior to going in the ditch.
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Here we are making the water and electric connections prior to filling in the ditch. Hank was a great help and we spent most of the day talking about our next project....barrelponics. Which I will start on the next post. I will sequence building a barrelponics system, from start to finish.
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As you can tell, I have just finished harvesting my summer hydroponics crop. I should have taken a picture. But the exciting thing is...I have lights for the winter crop. I put in two, 600 watt halogen lights with parabolic reflective shields. The picture doesn't do it justice, but I will show you a night photo on the next post.
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Saturday, July 18, 2009

July Greenhouse Update

I've been busy building a couple of small geodesic domes for future cold frames. I just brought a new 200 amp electric service box onto my property for the new greenhouse and future expansions.
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Here are some photos of what is happening with my hydroponics. Things are growing fast. I have everything off fertilizer and I'm just flushing water through the system. I got too excited at first and planted everything at once and now it is all getting ahead of me as far as use. I am going to harvest everything and start some successional planting so that the growth will be staggered. The red sails lettuce was awesome.
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Here's what's happening in the grow box.
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The old, traditional greenhouse looks like a jungle right now.
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A friend loaned me a few earthboxes to try out. Here is a picture of some tomatoes growing in the earthbox. We've been harvesting since the fourth of July. That was my goal.
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