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S&S Aqua Farm

S&S Aqua Farm is a family farm located in West Plains, Missouri, in the heart of the beautiful Missouri Ozarks. We'd love to tell you more about us and the wonderful area we live in, but why you're here is to learn about our growing system. If you're interested in some of the history of our farm, we could suggest some further reading.

The first article about S&S Aqua Farm appeared in the June 1992 issue of "Small Farm Today", others have been published in such places as "Back Home" magazine (Summer 1993) and "Missouri Conservationist" (August 1993). John Wesley Smith wrote about S&S Aqua Farm for "The Growing Edge" (Vol. 5, No. 2, Winter 1993-94).

ABOUT OUR SYSTEM

Ours is a simple, reliable, low-cost growing system used to produce a supply of safe, superior quality foods. We integrate hydroponics and aquaculture in a closed system to produce premium tilapia and fresh herbs and vegetables. Although creative, this method of food production is no mere novelty. It is a low-cost, no nonsense system.

Complex synergistic relationships take place in an uncomplicated setting. It seems the more natural we can make it, the better it works. The effluent from the fish tanks is not filtered or purified before reaching the growing beds. Some similar systems are based on a hydroponics mindset and purify the water to go through expensive feeder lines and emitters. In our system the growing beds are in effect fluidized bed bioreactors (a most efficient biofilter for water filtration) using commonly available materials, without the need for separators and clarifiers for solids removal.

Each growing bed contains pea gravel as a growing media. Effluent trickles through and down the length of the growing bed before being pumped back into the tanks. The plants get all the nutrients they need, while bacteria in the gravel remove harmful ammonia produced by the fish, perpetuating the water purification process. Fish must never be left without plants in the growing beds or water purification stops; the growing beds should never be permitted to dry out or bacteria in the gravel, essential for the purification process, would die.

Simple to Operate

You supply the water and electricity.
You feed the fish.
The fish feed the plants.
The plants take care of the fish in return.




Plants get what they need without the fuss of mixing chemicals. The unfiltered effluent (nutrient solution) is pumped straight to the growing beds through 1-inch PVC pipe.

After the initial effluent is pumped from each tank, the return through the beds takes from 10 to 30 minutes. A bucket containing a pump in each node holds 10 to 15 gallons. When this fills up, the water is pumped back into the tank and forced through a PVC cap drilled with numerous 1/4 inch holes, creating a showerhead effect. This oxygenates the water to optimum levels for the tilapia. Additional aeration is unnecessary.

IMAGINE GARDENING YEAR-ROUND WITH NO WEEDS TO PULL, NO BENDING FOR PLANTING OR HARVESTING, NO WORRIES ABOUT WATERING OR THE WEATHER.

PICTURE YOURSELF IN MID-WINTER WORKING IN A GREEN, VITAL, HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT - DOING SOMETHING YOU LOVE TO DO.

The system is simple and revolutionary for the very reason that it does not make use of technology normally assumed to be necessary for aquaculture, hydroponics, or both.

The system is flexible. A "node" is a tank of fish connected to one or more growing beds. A node can be constructed small enough to fit into a kitchen, one or more nodes could fit into a backyard greenhouse, or any number of large nodes could function in commercial greenhouse operations.

In addition to flexibility of size and simplicity of operation, the system is environmentally friendly. There is no effluent runoff. Plants and bacteria in the gravel beds use nutrients in effluent and purify the water for the benefit of the fish.

There is no mixing of fertilizers for hydroponic production, and the synergistic relationship between plants and fish actually necessitates the use of NO chemical pesticides or medications. Clean, pure and wholesome food is the result.

SYSTEM COMPONENTS

From a system point of view there are three main components of the operation - fish, plants and bacteria. The rest of the hardware items are there to optimize the life cycle of each of the three main components.

ABOUT THE FISH
Tilapia, a fish that produces delicious white flesh with few bones, are a hardy, disease resistant, warm-water fish. They're native to Africa and the Middle East and have been raised for food since the days of the ancient Egyptians. Some believe Christ fed tilapia to the multitudes. Tilapia is the most popular fish for culture in the world.

Tilapia are fast growing, reaching 1 to 1-1/2 pounds by 9 to 18 months, are extremely disease resistant, and will provide firm, white boneless fillets (approximately 40% by weight). They are readily marketable at 3/4 pound and up. We prefer to sell our fish at over one pound live weight - most generally at a pound and a half.

The feed conversion rate for this fish is excellent, with one pound of feed yielding one pound of fish. Tilapia devour algae in addition to their regular feed, and excess plant cuttings add to this nutrient source. In addition, they will tolerate low oxygen and poor water conditions that would kill most other fish. We have found them to be extremely hardy.

ABOUT THE PLANTS

Currently we are producing lettuces and salad greens for local restaurants and subscribers for our own specialty mix. Our retail sales are primarily on a subscriber, or pre-order basis, with excess being sold at the local Farmers Market. Additionally, we are now producing some value-added products.

We have experimented with many different types of plants - ornamentals, herbs and vegetables. Most attempts have been successful. We've grown from seed, from seedlings, from cuttings. We've produced food crops, rooted cuttings, fresh cut herbs, and become our own supplier of starts for flowering basket sales. We're excited about what this system can do!

Plants grow in half to one-third the time required for plants grown by conventional methods.

Cuttings from almost any plant (including trees) will root and grow if placed into a growing bed and exposed to the nutrient-rich water, with NO rooting hormones or chemicals.

ABOUT THE BACTERIA

A healthy bacterial culture is a necessity in this system and the limit on how many fish you can maintain will be gaited by the health and growth rate of your bacteria. What do bacteria need? They need warmth, moisture, dark and oxygen. All these are present in our system except for the surface area of the growing beds.

Plants alone do not purify the water for the fish. They only take up the nutrients that the bacteria put out after they work on and convert the fish wastes. The bacteria are a critical element in the system and should be treated with proper respect. Take steps to insure a good oxygen supply. Aeration of the fish water by the methods we prescribe, and cultivation of the growing beds when empty will provide more dissolved oxygen for the fish, as well as provide an improved oxygen level for the bacteria and plants.

ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND

There is no effluent discharge from our system, making it environmentally friendly. Due to the recirculation and efficient reuse of water, only 7 to 7.5 percent of the water must be replaced per month as a result of evaporation and plant uptake.

We believe in growing as naturally as possible, but our system also demands it. Any pesticides sprayed on the plants would find their way back into the fish. Any antibiotics poured into the fish tanks to treat diseases would find their way to the plants and kill the bacteria. Predatory wasps, ladybugs, lacewings, Bt and other specific organically approved methods are used to control whiteflies, aphids and other pests and diseases that affect the plants.

A minimum of electricity is used because the solar greenhouse design doesn't require it. We do all we can to maximize the use of solar energy. The fish tanks are black to absorb and retain heat. Warm water, a high level of nutrients, CO2 from the fish, and frequent flow are what allow us to grow all through the winter.

LOW COST MATERIALS

Basic items for operation consist of:

A building - the system can be adapted to suit most any greenhouse style and size.
Tanks - we use hatchery tanks from PolyTank.*
Growing beds - may be as simple as wood, lined with plastic or as durable as prefab poly.*
Pumps - common submersible sump pumps are recommended
PVC piping and fittings
Water supply
Gravel - it's an efficient grow media. It's also low-cost, low-maintenance, and readily available in most locations.
ADD fish, plants and bacteria - the three main system components.

*PolyTank, our tank supplier, now manufactures 4'X8' growing beds of the same material as our tanks (no maintenance, and virtually indestructible).

OPERATING COSTS

Basic operating costs will include:

Labor
Electricity
Fish food
Seeds and plants

SIMPLY DIFFERENT
Our system is unique.

The system's design offers flexibility.
It can be operated on a small scale or in a large commercial set-up.
Parts and equipment are readily obtainable, most from local suppliers.
Elements in nature enable the system to function successfully, not some exclusively patented device.

WHAT WE OFFER

We believe our approach to integrated food production is practical and worth emulating. We can provide vital information you'll need to set up your own system, whether you want extra food for your family or want to start your own profitable business. NOTE: This is not a turnkey system or prepackaged, get-rich-quick scheme. What we offer is an information package. For more details, click on the PKG INFO button.

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全日照  8個小時日照 瓜類、茄果類、豆類、山藥、豆薯(地瓜)。番茄、黃瓜、茄子、辣椒等喜溫中、強光性
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其次是根莖類,如:馬鈴薯、甜菜、胡蘿蔔、白蘿蔔、甘藷、山藥等等。至少需半日照,才能生長,芋頭雖喜歡全日照,但比其他蔬菜耐蔭。 
需要中等光照大白菜、甘藍、芥菜、蒜、洋蔥。 

長日性蔬菜白菜、甘藍、芥菜、蘿蔔、胡蘿蔔、芹菜、菠菜、萵苣、蠶豆、豌豆、大蔥、洋蔥。

短日性蔬菜豇豆、扁豆、莧菜、空心菜。         

中光性蔬菜黃瓜、番茄、茄子、辣椒、菜豆

菜豆

菜豆喜溫暖,不耐高溫和霜凍。菜豆種子發芽的適溫為20-30℃;在40℃以上的高溫和10℃以下的低溫,種子不易發芽。幼苗生長適宜氣溫為18-25℃。花芽分化的適宜氣溫為20-25℃,過高或過低溫度易出現發育不完全的花蕾、落花。

菜豆對光照強度的要求較高。在適宜溫度條件下,光照充足則植株生長健壯,莖的節間短而分枝多,開花結莢比較多,而且有利於根部對磷肥的吸收。當光照強度減弱時,植株易徒長,莖的節間長,分枝少,葉質薄,而且開花結莢數少,易落花落莢。

菜豆根系強大,能耐一定程度乾旱,但喜中度濕潤土壤條件,要求水分供應適中,不耐澇。生長期適宜土壤濕度為田間最大持水量的60%-70%,空氣相對濕度以80%為宜。開花結莢期對水分最敏感,此期土壤乾旱對開花結莢有不良影響,開花數、結莢數及莢內種子數減少。土壤水分過大時,下部葉片黃化,早脫落。空氣濕度過大會引起徒長、結莢不良。

菜豆具有深根性和根瘤菌,對土壤的要求不甚嚴格,但仍以土層深厚肥沃、排水良好的輕砂壤土或粘質壤土為好。土壤過於粘重、低溫、排水和通氣不良則生長不良,炭疽病重。菜豆喜中性至微酸性土壤,適宜的土壤pH為5-7.0,其中以州6.2-6.8最適宜。菜豆最忌連作,生產中應實行2-3年輪作。

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黑檸檬

黑檸檬
Dried lemons are actually limes and are used heavily in Persian Gulf and also Iranian cuisine where they add a strong bitter flavor in addition to sourness. They are made by boiling ripe limes in salt water, and then sun drying until the insides turn black. The outside color varies from tan to black. They are sold whole or ground.

Black Lime is a spice used in Middle Eastern dishes. It is made by boiling fresh lime in salt water and sun drying until the insides turn black. The outside color varies from tan to black. It is sold whole or ground.

黑檸檬實際上是使用萊姆,並且在波斯灣和伊朗料理中被大量使用,除了酸味外,它們還添加了強烈的苦味。它們是利用鹽水煮成熟萊姆,然後曬乾,直到內部變黑。外部顏色從棕褐色變化到黑色。他們可以整顆或切片販售。
黑檸檬是用於中東菜餚的香料。它是通過在鹽水中煮沸新鮮的檸檬並經天然乾燥,直到內部變黑。外觀從棕褐色變成黑色。
USE Black limes are usually used in legume, seafood or meat dishes. They are pierced, peeled or crushed before adding them to the dish. After cooking they become softer and edible. They can also be powdered and added to rice dishes. Powdered black lime is also used as an ingredient in Gulf-…

為何冰箱冷凍室非得是零下18度?

為何冰箱冷凍室非得是零下18度? 不少家庭的冰箱有led面板,可顯示冷藏室和冷凍室溫度。每次看到那個零下18℃,不少人,包括筆者在內就會禁不住提出一個小疑問:為什麼冷凍室溫度非得是零下18℃?最多零下1℃不就結冰了嗎?搞這麼低溫度實在是浪費電呢。

聰明如很多人是這樣推測的

百思不得其解,於是很多人,包括筆者在內就開始推測後面的機制了。冷凍室的零下18℃其實不費電,相反,它是節約電力的一個好措施。為何?

冰箱隔一段時間,內部溫度升高後,它就要啟動壓縮機,嗡嗡嗡的。頻繁啟動壓縮機不僅耗電,冰箱的壽命也會降低,還有就是很吵人。怎麼辦?簡單,先把冷凍室的溫度搞得低低的,比如零下18℃左右。


然後,冷凍室的冷氣往上走,來到冷藏室,如此,就能長時間保持冷藏室的溫度處於0到8℃以內了。

待冷凍室的冷氣散失過多,溫度升高到零下幾度時,再啟動冰箱的壓縮機把溫度再次降到零下18℃,如此,冰箱的啟動次數就變少了。

實際是這樣嗎?很遺憾,不是。

原因之一:不一樣的水

水到零度以下就結冰了,這是絕大多數人的認識。然而仔細一想,這不適用於冰箱的冷凍室。因為冷凍室存放的不是上百升礦泉水,而是各種各樣的食物。

食物中含有大量水這沒錯,但這些水同時含有大量的鹽、糖等物質。就像每1升海水中大約含有35克鹽,所以平均起來,要到零下1.33℃時海水才會結冰。

因此,要想把食物凍結,並不是溫度只要達到水的冰點就可以,得保證足夠低的溫度,食物中的水才能凍結,這很重要,因為食物中只要有液態水存在,這就等於是為各種細菌的繁殖提供了必備條件。

圖為牛肉薄片在不同溫度和不同時間內測得的牛肉中凍結水量的曲線。

當牛肉薄片的溫度為零下4℃時,只有70%的水分被凍結;溫度下降到零下9℃左右時,也還有3%的水分未凍結;即使牛肉薄片的溫度降低到零下18℃時,也不是100%的水分都被凍結住。

原因之二:嗜冷微生物

根據微生物對不同溫度的適應範圍,可將微生物分為三大類,嗜熱菌、嗜溫菌和嗜冷菌。在食物的冷藏和冷凍過程中,我們面對的「敵人」是嗜溫菌和嗜冷菌。

一般來說,能引起食物腐敗和食物致毒的嗜溫菌,在低於3 ℃情況下不產生毒素,當然,個別菌種例外。

而對於嗜冷菌,一般得在零下10 ℃到零下12 ℃時才會停止生長。

有的黴菌甚至要到零下15~零下18 ℃時才會停止生長。

瞧,我們以為,零下幾攝氏度後微生物就被殺死或停止繁殖了,但…