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rainbowgardener
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

Wow!! Everything is so beautiful and thriving!!
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

KitchenGardener wrote:Gah, I love all of this so much! Amazingly productive (as well as neat and attractive!) for such a jam packed space.

Question for you - how do the plants clean the water? Fascinating.

"The plants are definitely deficient in something here, but this is a balancing act between the nutrient, plants and fish. The plants are mainly there to clean the water, the veggies that are harvested are a bonus."


Basically
The plants absorb nutrients including nitrates, phosphates, etc.,
It can help help control hair string algae and algae by removing nutrients that would otherwise feed the unwanted algae. Its a balancing act between keeping the water clean for the fish but providing nutrients to wanted plants and starving out the unwanted plants.
without getting into the science of it, here is a pic that explains a little. But if you are interested in the science here's a link to that info. https://www.projectfeed1010.com/blog/2016/09/28/ammonia/

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Some call them a Veggie Filter (like me) or Bog Filter, mine isn't actually true to either, while it does perform similarly, it's sort of a hybrid.


Here are a few pictures showing its design.

Base layer of rock, then a liner is added
The water is pumped from the main pond up through some media for bio filtration. Then overflows through three tubes into the main pond.

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Feed line from main pond

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Scrubbies for bio-media to store beneficial bacteria... very important in the nitrogen cycle.

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Another layer of bio-media, again, very important in the nitrogen cycle.

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This is when I was using true aquatic plants/no soil.

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Three years ago I started growing veggies in the filter, I decided that I wanted something I could harvest and as a bonus it helps take some of the nasties from the water, I'm sure its not as efficient as a "true" bog filter from a plant standpoint but the bio media is more than enough to reduce nitrates, and if I get a dozen or two peppers, it's worth it. Even if it is taking up "0" nutrients, I can at least call it a "self watering planter" lol, but I'm sure they are taking up some nutrients.

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I have a second veggie filter that drains into the lower veggie filter that is for flowers, we needed a bit of color, everything is green lol. This is designed to fill from the top and overflow into the lower veggie filter.
Plus it makes my wife happy.

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Then I have "Wendy Filter" that is top fed, the water goes through three different grades of bio-media in a swirling motion leaving sediment at the bottom, then through a few hundred bio balls, as the water fills the filter it reaches an overflow pipe in a center tube and then drains into the pond.
I had blue foam on top and it looked a little ratty after I removed the Laurel, so I added some fake plants to blend it a bit better. :D

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rainbowgardener
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

fabulous! So then do you eat the fish?

I have ambition to some day have a similar set up, with veggies watered and fertilized by the pond and growing tilapia or other food fish in the tank.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

It's not practical in my zone.
Temperature is a factor, I could do trout in my zone but fingerlings take 2 years to grow out.
Tilapia fingerlings can grow out in as little as 8 months but need a warmer zone.

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KitchenGardener
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Location: Northern California; Hardiness Zone 10a, Climate zone: 17

Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

Just so impressed I don't even know where to start - with your knowledge or attention to detail and work ethic. :clap:

Thank you for such a detailed explanation - i enjoy it so much!

SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

KitchenGardener wrote:Just so impressed I don't even know where to start - with your knowledge or attention to detail and work ethic. :clap:

Thank you for such a detailed explanation - i enjoy it so much!

Thank you for the kind words.

SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

October 1st, 2017

Zucchini has some flowers, I'll start hand pollinating this week.

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Got some pond work done I decided to cut the iris back completely so I had to go in, it was getting out of hand, it should come back next season. Since I went swimming I decided to work on the Koi pond as well, I just stirred up the bottom, picked out some pavers that had fallen in and replaced the filter sponges with a coarser sponge. The filters were clogging up almost every third day.

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Transplanted a bunch of Phlox.

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Planted the rest of my Oats and some of my Crimson Clover. I really need to find a supplier for oats and get 10 pound bags.

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I'm still rooting for these guys

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My romaine is finally perking up, somewhat.

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I might as well give up on broccoli, this is my best plant.

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Clover is growing nicely.

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Playing with my peppers.

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The Tabascos are going on year two, started these summer of 2016, these are resting on charred oak and I will try some fall of 2018 to see if it is ready for processing.

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Made some bio-char burning a lot of the marigolds, some cardboard, tomato plants, sunflowers, some old tree trimmings, woody plant stems, weeds, dog poo, and some pallets. I got about 2.5 five gallon buckets, I'll be adding some urea to the 5 gallon buckets and then topping the one raised bed on the hill or dumping in the compost heap. This stuff is great for amending clay soil but I don't think it does much good in my Hugelkultur beds due to the healthy soil, none the less I add some here and there and also will add ash.

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Pulled my Corno Di Toro Giallo pepper plant to make room for the garlic. This thing was so heavy with peppers that it completely toppled over when I removed the support.

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I'll try stuffing these this week and see how they are.

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Planting the garlic

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The eggplant plants in the Hugelkultur beds are doing well but the eggplants are growing slowly, I am not holding my breath for a late harvest, but I'm curious how far these guys will get.

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The side Hugelkultur bed is doing real well and noticed a few eggplants on this plant as well.

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This Jalapeno Pepper plant in the Vertical Garden is simply amazing, this will be my 4th harvest this year, I need to make sure and keep picking the peppers next year to promote new peppers. The first two harvests were about 18 each, the third was a dozen, looks like I'll have another 18 coming off in a bit.

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Time to shut down the veggie filter. The cover to the veggie filter was looking a little weathered, so I sanded and stained it.

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The pepper plants in the Koi ponds veggie filter are DEFINITELY finished.

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Impatients are still looking good so I need to bypass the overflow. The soil is recycled into the compost bin with the plants The pots, saucers and fabric are stored away.

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Bypassing the lower veggie filter to drain directly into the pond. Oh crap, just noticed in this picture that Laura stuck a fall decoration in the upper veggie filter, I hope she didn't tear the liner.

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Pond work always requires a beer

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Had to catch a frog that insisted on staying in the veggie filter, I called Amanda out to get him, she loves that kinda stuff. The weather is still fairly warm so technically I could have removed the stuff from the filter, placed on the cover and kept it running. There... all finished, now Laura can decorate this area with her festive fall stuff.

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Planted a few Sunchokes on the upper hill. Planted two varieties of spinach and will let them go through the winter, I'm curious if they'll make it.

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Played with the Swallowtails for a bit, easily two dozen on this one plant.

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SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

October 10th, 2017

Dam... Look at my parsley lol.

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The everlasting gobstopper jalapeno pepper plant, I'll pickle a lot of these and make some Taco ABT's

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Corno Di Toro Giallo, they really love this Hugelkultur bed.

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Oats and Crimson clover are doing well, pulled the eggplant plant and diced the fruit up for my Saturday Garden Jambalaya. The marigold blows my mind, this was cut back twice.

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The Box Car Willie still putting out red tomatoes, I got my first tomato off of this plant and it looks like I'm gonna get my last from it too.

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The rest of the eggplant plants will be pulled Saturday.

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The Composter is kicking @ss. My compost bin was full when I poured this 2nd batch of trub on it, a few days later it dropped a foot, must be the yeast.

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SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

October 23rd, 2017

Well, I did my end of year cleanup this weekend and I made another batch of Bio-Char, using, pallets, cardboard, junk mail, documents, dog poo (only what was collected this week), Bones, woodsy plant trimmings, some hardwoods and the tomato plants.
I tore out all the summer veggies with the exception of a Box Car Willie tomato plant, a celebrity, Matts Wild Cherry and a Corno Di Toro Giallo.

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The Corno Di Toro Giallo peppers are from one plant

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And I had 2 surprise Eggplants that were growing through the fence on the neighbors side in the side Hugelkultur bed. The two big ones will be fried, the little ones go in the Jambalaya.

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My compost bin has been kicking @ss this year, the lid wouldn't fit on this 4 days ago.

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Cleaned out the freezer and tossed everything on top, yes I tossed in meat like, pepper steak, chicken noodle soup, old chicken breast, cheesey dishes like stuffed shells etc...

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This is the only problem with composting any type of meats and cheese. I could have burned these foods but wanted to try them directly in the compost bin first, the dog was up there before I could even get the lid on.

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I start off with a few pallets with all the junk then started tossing on hardwoods to make my end of year Garden Jambalaya. Preheating with oil.

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While the pallets and junk burn down, I started making some ABT's to snack on. I just cant believe I got another 32 peppers off of this plant, this is the 4th harvest.

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Separated the peppers, some for pickling and some for stuffing.

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My basic "Chicken Taco ABT's". Boiled Chicken breast, three cheese blend, taco seasoning, chili powder and a bit of chicken broth.

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ABT's are tossed into the smoker with some Apple wood

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Tossed in some Poblanos, these will be fully dehydrated in the dehydrator for later recipes. (Awesome in my Baked Beans)

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Added the rest of my Tabasco peppers to my Tabasco sauce that has been resting on charred oak over a year now.

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OK, time for the jambalaya. preheated oil, Chicken thighs, Hot Sausage, ground meat, onions and eggplant.

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Corno and Anaheim peppers.

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Roasted tomatoes from earlier in the season, can of crushed tomatoes, Montreal steak seasoning.

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While that simmered I installed a rack for my garden tools.

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Barley.

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I snacked on some ABT's, sampled a bowl of the Jambalaya, then the rest was put in containers and placed in the freezer.

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After I was done making my Garden Jambalaya, I spent a few more hours burning up some hardwood. When the last flame flickered out, I busted up all the hot coals, let it burn down a bit more, then covered the coals with some potting mix from a 10 gallon Air Pot of spent potting mix, perlite, peat, potting mix.

The next day I mixed the rest of the potting mix in with the coals real well, dug it out and put about 20% in my raised beds and the rest in the compost heap, then poured 3/4 gallon of urea on top of the bio-char in the compost bin.

I made sure to cover the top of the compost bin with the Bio-char and urea to keep critters out, on the other hand my dog was quicker than me.

I know that there is going to come a time when I will have to stop adding bio-char, but for now, a half a dozen fires a year should be OK for the next 10 years... I still have an entire front yard to do.

This end of season clean up works out well for me because, I get to clean out the freezer, clean up the gardens, add to my compost bin, use up all my extra veggies, have lunches at work for a month and have an excuse to hang out all day by the fire, listening to music, smoking, cooking and tossing back a few beers.




My daughters car blew up on the turnpike.

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So what do we do?

We go out to eat of course.

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A few more turtle rescues being rehabbed.

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And I fear this may be my last tomato, a Box Car Willie, we will see, I left the BCW in the bed. (Roast beef is from Manday 6 cook)

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SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

Forgot to finish this thread...

October 29th, 2017
Smoked and dehydrated my Poblanos and into the jar they go..

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Made my Fall Leek Potato soup.

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I finally got around to making my Dill Bread. First I needed a way to separate the seeds. I used a colander for the first screening, most of the seeds went through the colander.

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The next step was a coarse strainer to let the smaller particles and husks fall through.

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There's still a good amount of Dill seeds in the screened pieces, these are placed in a jar to grow some dill next season.

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Worked beautifully.

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For the bread I just used a box of Bread Machine mix (white) and added a few of my own ingredients.
1 box of Bread Machine mix follow directions, I cut back on the water 2 tablespoons and added an extra tablespoon of oil.
1/4 Cup of Cream Cheese
1 tablespoon of Dried Minced Onions (will increase to 5 teaspoons next time)
2 teaspoons of Dill Seed (Will increase to 1 tablespoon next time)

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The bread was fantastic, everyone loved it, but I want to increase the Dill flavor a bit next time I make this.

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applestar
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

I’m going to have to try making that bread. I can’t imagine how it would taste — is It a bit like sour cream dill dip? If so, have you considered making with potato bread base?

Haha yep using different hole colanders, steam inserts, wire strainers, etc. is the key to cleaning those little seeds. A gentle breeze from a fan nearby (or work outside when not gusty) helps a lot with dust and fine particles, too.

I usually end up doing most of my seed cleaning indoors after it gets cold, so I end up with small tarps and sheets or table cloth under the work area and a stack of colanders, steam inserts, big and small wire strainers, sieves and fine tea strainers.

I save aluminum pie-pans for this work, too. It’s kind of like panning for gold, except dry, swirling the bits and pieces around.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

SQWIB
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Re: SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2017

applestar wrote:I’m going to have to try making that bread. I can’t imagine how it would taste — is It a bit like sour cream dill dip? If so, have you considered making with potato bread base?

Haha yep using different hole colanders, steam inserts, wire strainers, etc. is the key to cleaning those little seeds. A gentle breeze from a fan nearby (or work outside when not gusty) helps a lot with dust and fine particles, too.

I usually end up doing most of my seed cleaning indoors after it gets cold, so I end up with small tarps and sheets or table cloth under the work area and a stack of colanders, steam inserts, big and small wire strainers, sieves and fine tea strainers.

I save aluminum pie-pans for this work, too. It’s kind of like panning for gold, except dry, swirling the bits and pieces around.
No, the cream cheese doesn't add to much in the way of flavor but makes the bread more rich and dense. But that is an interesting idea, maybe some buttermilk or better yet buttermilk ranch dressing and a bit of sour cream?
Would love a recipe for a Potato Bread base if you are willing to share.
Panning for gold, that's awesome!

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