Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Farm At Zambrano

For quite some time, Marc has had a vision of an aquaponics farm that would be self-sustaining and employee a couple of families from the dump.  The project is taking far longer than anyone imagined.  But it is making daily progress.  I saw the farm for the first time today.  Suffice it so say, I am impressed.  I love seeing a dream become a reality.

The road to the farm.  I have seen worse.

The first thing I went to see was the lagoon.  The lagoon has quite a story.  After digging 800 feet and not finding water, the idea of a well was abandoned.  The lagoon was dug at a place where the water runs-off naturally.  By the end of the rainy season, the water level should be three feet higher.  There will be a pump to get the water where it needs to be.

The lagoon

There are sunflowers growing.  The sunflowers will be used for chicken food and the tomatoes will grow under the sunflowers.

I also saw plants called meranga.  The leaf of this plant is suppose to have more nutrients than any other plant in the world.  After the leaves are dried, you can add it to rice, making the rice more nutritious without changing the flavor.

A meranga plant

This is the first of several beehives.  I am thinking fresh honey.  

Then I got to the aquaponics part.  

The first fish row

There will eventually be five fish rows.  This row has 7000 gallons of water in it and already has 7000 baby tilapia.  One tilapia can grow in one gallon of water.  On either side of the fish row is an elevated row.  These rows will be filled with rocks.  The water from the fish row will filter into the other rows.  The rocks will somehow clean the water and it will recycle into the fish row.  Strawberries will be planted in the elevated rows.  The strawberries will grow better in the rocks with the fish poop.  I don't understand how all that works, but I guess I don't have to.

The group worked on moving gravel today

Our friends, Barb and John Zeller, wanted to see the farm this morning.  We were glad to take them.  After I viewed the farm, Barb and I sat on the back porch visiting.  I sipped on a Dr. Pepper and enjoyed the beautiful view.  That is what I call a day off.

We think we are within a month of having things ready to go here.  How awesome it will be.



merawoods said...

Fantastic! I recently became fb friends with Nathan. I'm excited about the project!! I hope that I can go see it the next time I'm down. Fresh tilapia, strawberries and honey sound delicious!

Anonymous said...

It is exciting!!!!