Thursday, November 29, 2012

Aquaponics in Orlando, FL


This aquaponics system is  a sustainable project that I had the pleasure of seeing as a student of the Orlando Permaculture Design Course. Our tour was led by Zak Marimon who owns his own business Agarian Land and Pond. This was a unique experience that displayed how much can be done right on your own property. Much of this project was done by recycling materials. Craigslist is a great place to find materials for cheap or even free. I was impressed by the creativity and great knowledge of science behind this project. I learned that chemistry plays a big part in creating a system as grand as this.

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The system operates by pumping water from the fish tank into the Grow Beds and then pumping it back into the fish tank. It is a symbiotic relationship that benefits the fish and the plants. The fish wastes provide nutrients for the plants and waste plant materials feed the fish. The water is distributed through pipes that run through the Grow Beds. The fish water is filtered through sand, gravel, or river stones and then it is pumped back out to the fish tank. Tilapia are a great fish of choice because of their hardiness.


A variety of vegetables can be grown in the Grow Bed. It does take experimentation to get the right amount of nutrients to the plants. If done right, a bounty of produce will be harvested.



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During the class, there was a demonstration of assembling a filtration system for the turtle tank.

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I graduated from the Orlando Permaculture Design Course! Here are the garden designs I presented as part of our group project for the Simple Living Institute property. This video shows the butterfly and herb garden drawings I presented.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Seminole Springs Herb Farm Faire


My family went to the 16th Annual Herbal Faire on Saturday, November 10. The participants for this year’s event included Trout Lake Nature Center, Slow Turtle Farm, Saturday Night Soaps, and others. To read more about the event visit.  Below are pictures from our family visit to the Herb Farm and our experience of attending the 16th Annual Herbal Fair.


We enjoyed taking a look around the large greenhouse with a nice selection of herbs. Most of them are started from seeds as well as cuttings taken from their own stock. It was nice to encounter familiar herbs that I’ve studied and personally have grown from seed. Some of the herbs at the Herb Farm are hard to find at other nurseries and a rare find. Herbs like Holy Basil and yarrow are both great herbs that I’m fond of and they can be purchased at the farm. Holy Basil is a great herb for anxiety and depression. Yarrow has many uses, but is especially useful for fevers.


All the herbs are labeled to make searching easy.






We enjoyed a wonderful class by Lavon from the Trout Lake Nature Center about insects.  It was called “The good, bad, and the beautiful.” I really enjoyed it and learned some interesting facts.

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Olivia’s Coffeehouse at the Herb Farm offered lunch or a daytime snack. We selected some scones and cookies for our trip back home. 

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It was a pleasure meeting Traci (green shirt), owner of the Seminole Springs Herb Farm. I also ran into Emily Ruff and her husband. Emily Ruff was my teacher for becoming certified in Family Herbal Medicine at the Florida School of Holistic Living.