It seems that I update about every six months. So much has happened in the last six months that I feel like our farm has made some serious steps forward. Here is a short list of what’s been happening:
1. We are very close to starting our second farm. For those following us you know that we have been working on getting some new farmland at a higher elevation. We are much closer to making this happen and we plan to build a second Aquaponics farm there as well as a fully functional Educational Facility that will focus on teaching kids in our community how to grow their own food and about food sustainability AND about where their food comes from. We will also continue to train commercial Aquaponics farmers world wide and will be opening up other training options including small group trainings etc. We are hoping to make this new farm a true model of what small commercial farms can be in commercial production, education and agri-tourism. Our current farm in Keei will stay in production and we should benefit from having two locations at different elevations which means different weather patterns. More on this as it unfolds but we hope to be breaking ground in Q4 of this year!!
2. I think we have our summer time (hot/wet/humid season) plant disease issues fixed. It took 5 years but while I hesitate to say it out load (ya, I know, I’m not supposed to be superstitious!!) I believe that we have it under control. In all the years past the hot/wet/humid months has meant a huge drop in production due to plant diseases both fungal and bacterial. These bad guys would set up shop during these months when the weather was a perfect “Storm” for them to be able to take over. Its been a true battle and we lost some summers. Last summer was the worst and we threw out several weeks worth of production due to disease issues… This summer we are doing three things different. We added one additional organic disease fighting spray to our arsenal, we are using a different kind of spray applicator and we are controlling how dry the plants stay during raining times. This combo seems to be WORKING!! This summer so far we have had our BEST may and our BEST June since starting the farm. Our students that come to learn Aquaponics go home with 5 years worth of testing data and a pest/disease management strategy that works!
3. We have streamlined our farm to the point where we are doing things in less than 1/2 the time it used to take. Three people (including me) work part time (under 20 hours a week) to run the farm. As time goes on we are finding ways to do things faster and better. Our students go home with the newest ways of doing things and will save themselves tons of time (and money in labor) by taking advantage of our trial and error over the last several years!
4. We have a documentary coming out about our farm and family! Film makers recently came to our farm and spent time filming and documenting out story. This documentary will be available soon. It tells the story of how we got started and the hardships that came up both personal and farm related. It hopefully will show others that small commercial food production farms are possible and actually do work! Stay tuned for details on who to watch on demand or order a DVD….
On the family front:
Noah is doing well and is almost done with scheduled chemotherapy. His treatment will be 3 years and 2 months long assuming all goes well. He is scheduled to be done December 27th of this year. He will be 8 years old a few weeks before the scheduled end of treatment and was only 4 at the beginning of this cancer journey. He is doing good and we are thankful for each day we have him with us!
Isaac is doing good too. He is funny and crazy and a joy to have as part of our family
Becky and I are doing good. We are managing the farm as well as dealing with cancer and chemotherapy being a part of our family. Its not easy but its a good life and each day that ends with everyone home and well that day is a win in our books. I just had surgery for double hernias so am recouping from that while my crew runs the farm.
All is well at Living Aquaponics today…stay tuned for more info soon and thanks for reading…