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.

 

 

Permaculture Design Course

This weekend is the last Saturday for Derek’s Permaculture Design Course, here are some photos from previous weekends.

In our Permaculture course we have been studying of design implementing Permaculture in permanent human settlements in a sustainable way.

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It is not simply agriculture or a way of farming, but encompasses the complete and holistic spectrum of life: Food, Energy, Water, and Sanitation.

 

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In the course we are running now we have delved into these topics for both the developed world and the developing world.  The pictures you have are part of the course, working to build an appropriate aspect of agriculture called “hugelkultur”.

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It is a method of conserving and retaining water, self-mulching, self-composting, and much more.  Our aim is not simply to include aspects of training that are lecture or classroom but also provide hands-on activities so students can apply the knowledge they are gaining.

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Last week of the Quarter for our Work Duty Students!

This week was the last week of this quarter for us work duty students at the farm 🙁 I, Andrew, had an incredible time and feel so privileged to work with such amazing people! As everyone has said over and over, the Natural Farm and its Staff are the jewel of the YWAM Kona Campus! The people here are incredible! All of us felt completely honored to serve under leaders like Vernon, Terri and Cindy, Eric and Miriam, Thema and of course my own family, Ralph & Lynn and James. Here are a few photos of our time together!

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Permaculture Video!

An incredible and extremely important avenue of LETS is our Permaculture initiatives! Permaculture is all about sustainable and appropriate technology for communities anywhere in the world. Here is a short video explaining what it is all about!

 

New Video on Aquaponics!

This week we would love to show you our new informational video Miriam put together featuring Cindy on Aquaponics! She tells us what Aquaponics is, how it can be used as well as a tour of our system! Enjoy!

New Piggery in Construction!

Check out our new Piggery in construction! We’ve been making tremendous progress with our new Korean style, natural “no smell” piggery! This is an incredible addition to the Natural farm and we are excited about being able to replicate this all over the world among warm climate cultures that have their pigs close to their dwelling. This could be adapted to family application to provide sustenance or to generate income!  Below you can see some of our progress so far. More information soon to come in video!

 

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