Posts

Showing posts from February, 2011

Aquaponics project is on hold

I've decided to put my aquaponics project on hold for a little while. My biggest hurdle has been finding a suitable grow bed to match up with a 20 gallon aquarium tank. I tried a few different storage totes but none of them worked out. It's too hard to get a good seal for the siphon and drain that has to go on the bottom because the plastic is so flimsy. I need to find or build something that's a lot more sturdy. The hydroponics grow beds that I looked at were too shallow for an aquaponics system to work properly. Everything that I've read so far says that the grow bed needs to be 12 inches deep.

I haven't given up. I'm just going to set up an actual aquarium for now. I need to learn how to keep small fish alive under normal circumstances before I go crazy and try to do it on a large scale using unconventional methods. A lot of the principles that go into setting up an aquarium are used in an aquaponics setup, anyway. The nitrogen cycle is the core …

Back in My Day....

I saw this on facebook and had to repost it. Sometimes we just need something to laugh at.

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school ...every morning.... Uphill... Barefoot... BOTH ways...yadda, yadda, yadda

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on my kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it!

But now that I'm over the ripe old age of forty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today. You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia! And I hate to say it, but you kids today, you don't know how good you've got it!

1) I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have the Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card cat…

Quote of the day

"To those who prepare for the worst, the worst never seems to happen. To those who prepare for the best, the worst always seems to happen".

I have no idea who said this but in most cases it rings true.

Aquaponics

So I've been doing a lot of research on aquaponics lately. Basically, when you set up an aquaponics system you're setting up a miniature eco-system. Everything works together. Ideally, you'll end up with a system that requires very little maintenance and it produces a lot of food. At first glance, it sounds like pie in the sky voodoo. From what I've seen it's pretty impressive when implemented correctly. The cool thing is that you can implement it correctly on a very small scale. So what the hell is it?

Basically it mixes hydroponics with aquaculture. You raise fish and vegetables at the same time. The fish create ammonia. The bacteria in the medium that the plants are planted in convert it to nitrites. The plants convert the nitrites to nitrates and that water is pumped back to the fish. The cycle continues.

I want to try the idea but it's kind of hard to do here in the middle of winter. Once I get an indoor setup set up I'll let you all kno…

Recipe from preps: Penne Pasta in tomato sauce

Do you cook with your preps? From time to time I'm going to post up a recipe for preps made entirely out of long term storage food that you should probably have plenty of. Mayberry gave me the idea a few days ago. I'll try to post up the recipe and then mention any tweaks you can do in case you're short on something. Of course, if you know that you need something for a recipe that you really like then you'll probably have plenty of it on hand. Experiment, tweak and, most importantly, LEARN HOW TO COOK now so that you can benefit from the cheapest, easiest, most cost effective luxury there is whether the world is ending or you're just having trouble making rent. Anyway, on to the recipe.

What you'll need:

16 oz cup Penne pasta
16 oz Can of chicken
8 oz can of tomato sauce x2
1/4 cup dried onions
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 6 oz can of mushrooms
15 oz can of chicken stock
1 tsp each of oregano, basil, parsley, salt and pepper

Drain the chicken and then brown it…

Sensible Food Storage

Image
There are a few different approaches to food storage. As long as you're doing it at all I don't care how you do it. Just make sure that you're actually doing it and you don't just think that you are. It's really easy to make mistakes and assume that you've got "enough". What if you couldn't leave your house for a week? A month? If the power went out for more than a day or two how much of the food in your house would go bad? If we're talking worst case scenario how long could you really hold out? Your food storage strategy will go a long way towards answering that question.

If you've got the money then the easiest solution is just to buy a freeze dried food supply. Mountain House is the most recognized name in the industry and you can get it from several reputable dealers. Nitro-Pak is an excellent source. They ship free if you order $100 or more. I do have some Mountain House in my supplies. It's very convenient, lightwe…

What I could have done better

Hindsight is 20/20. I didn't really become interested in current events, investing or prepping until after I bought my house. When I was young and in the army I took my bonus and put it in a mutual fund. Then within 6 months I lost $1000 in it. That put a very bad taste in my mouth toward the stock market and I steered away from investing for a long time. I tried to follow the mantra that if I can't pay cash then I can't afford it. The fact that I had no credit made it easy not to bother applying for it. This went on for years. Eventually I wound up with a good job, in a cheap apartment and a good sized bank account. Then I met my wife.

While we were dating she received a good chunk of cash from an inheritance so we decided to buy a house. This, of course, was at the top of the real estate market. We put our 20% down and got a payment that we could easily afford. We still have the house and we still love it. We're still living well within our means. We …