Monthly Archives: September 2016

Beautification Day, September 26th ’16

We just a great morning working at the ATV and up in the Permaculture, weeding, raking, and generally taming this wonderful growing climate of Hawaii.

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The farm crew is growing with Liz joining us from San Diego, late of Malta.

You can click the picture to move through the Gallery faster.

The thing about Hawaii is that stuff just grows! The pigs got to eat most of what we got out of the Permaculture area today.

Next week we have 18 students joining us in the farm, to get stuff growing, to get stuff in order, to see what else we can do with this bounty from God. Do drop by if you can, come for a tour in the mornings.

We would love to see up up here. Map

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Our Community Garden

So over the last two weeks we have been working at getting water down to the Gardens. Well that is now done.

With the water on, we are getting the fences up, for nothing says smorgasbord to pigs like freshly planed vegetables. We have three plots built and some time soon we will have a Community Day to get people together who what to grow stuff. So Kona Staff, make your interest know here.

Then keep an eye on this calendar for events relating to the farm and to the Community Gardens.

Pigs as fellow workers

So went to install the new gate and my fellow workers where knocking over the tools, pushing the gates around, keeping an eye that I did not slack, and generally getting in the way.

I wanted to figure out how many pigs we had, the first time I counted I got 17, and each count after that changed till I settled on 21. Yes I am pretty sure we have 21 pigs.

And half a dozen cats.

After tomorrow we will try adding to that number.

Rounding up some Pigs, the prep.

We want to recruit some of the free range pigs to join our community of garbage disposal units at the farm.

The invitation pen

It does not look like much, but this is where we get the pigs to come in to.

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Piggies we have friends waiting for you.

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We will post some more pics once we get a few new additions.

Replumbing an aquaponic system to take advantage of gravity

One of our aquaponics systems was originally designed to pump from the fish tank (the lowest point of the system) to the media bed and 55 gal drum clarifier located about thirty feet away. With this configuration the pump not only had to overcome the elevation but also the resistance created by friction within thirty some feet of one-inch pipe.

Once the water is pumped up from the fishtank to where it meets the inclined nearly horizontal pipe then gravity takes over for the rest of the circuit back to the fish tank.

Once the water is pumped up from the fishtank to where it meets this inclined nearly horizontal pipe,  gravity takes over for the rest of the circuit back to the fish tank.

Gravity brings the water to this clarifier barrel where it overflows in two directions - to the media beds in one direction and to the deep water rafts in the other.

Gravity brings the water to this clarifier barrel where it overflows in two directions – to the media beds in one direction and to the deep water rafts in the other.

The new configuration decreases head pressure the pump has to overcome by routing the water directly from the pump up to a nearby overhead (header) tank.  The result is dramatically increased volume to the grow beds using the existing pump or the option to downsize the pump.

Pumping to overhead tank

Pumping to overhead tank. In this picture an “airlift” pump is providing the lift from the fish tank that is out of view, up the vertical riser to a diverter where the water flows out and down a slight incline to the small blue “header tank”.

One of the keys to making this and for that matter any aquaponic system work is knowing the relative height of different system components. For this project we used a fifty foot hose as a hose level to make sure that the top water level in “header” tank was higher in elevation than the intended outlet. Physics is a wonderful creation…dependable like the Creator!

 

 

 

 

Our days are never the same

There are no 2 days the same at the Kona Natural Farm Training Center

img_20160910_112526338Terry is in the nearby hills looking for the best biology to take back to the farm for making IMO’s.img_20160910_112554880

Look at what he found. Beautiful! Lots of beneficial microbes in this batch!

 

 

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Jill has taken the responsibility of caring for 4 wild piglets whose mother was killed. They are a handful!

 

 

 

 

img_20160919_101549334_hdrTony and Chris spend time doing research for everyone, as well as all other things farmy.

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Jefferson and Vernon will even go to the ends of the campus to find what we need. Real servants.They are collecting cardboard for sheet mulching (a way of weed control that eventually makes soil for us).

 

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Occasional field trips to see local farmers to share and learn. This lady grows air potatoes. (What?)

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Give a man a tool…..Drew is happy using a sharp machete.