It has been too long since our last post. We would have to say that our first year in the the big greenhouse (GH2) has been a success. We started out with tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, zucchini and peppers, but ended up with tomatoes and cucumbers in the greenhouse and moved the peppers and zucchini out to the yard.
We visited Ledgeview Gardens in De Pere, WI during their open house and learned how to prune our tomato plants in ordered to have continuous fruit. Their green house plants are feed hydroponically; I have never seen such tall tomato plants. From their advise, we were able to move forward.
The bluegills worked out very well, but I think that we will increase the number of fish next year. We always seemed to have pale leaves due to the amount of nutrients being pulled from the system.
Our support structure eventually reached the ceiling to accommodate the height of the plants.
This week, we visited Lone Duck Farm in West Bend, WI. We met Matt and Elise, who supply some of our area restaurants with fresh produce and tilapia. They have also launched a Community Supported Agriculture (a buying agreement between the farmer and people in their community) program for people to purchase weekly shares of produce. Here we were able to see how their successful aquaponic green house grows beautiful lettuce. Matt graciously answered the questions we had and gave us some advise on our own winter lettuce growing project.
Most of these pictures are from June and July except for the last one on the right. We have now topped the plants and removed most of the leaves to encourage the fruit to ripen with the cold nights. Our little joke is that the fruit grows and ripens by day and is refrigerated by night.
This weekend will probably be the end of this season. We will harvest the fish, pick the remaining produce and drain the system until February or March. That is the one nice thing about gardening, you always can plan on something in the near future.