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Grow some veg...from some veg

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Here at the Aquaponics Project we grow our plants in our kitchens and are lucky enough to have a nice sunny window where we germinate many of our seeds before planting them into their permanent homes. Salads are never the easiest things to feed our daughters, while even with encouraging them to grow their own it's still a bit of a struggle at least we still have fun doing it. We're hoping it will be a slow burn win!

Our five-year-old daughter is a (mainly) willing helper but especially when we grow from our own food wastes.

 

Here are some of our favourites which have worked well. We are excited that some of them will soon move to our Aquaponics Home System which grows plants and fish alongside each other.

Carrot tops: Really easy, take the top of the carrot and place it in a saucer of water. This is a fast grower and will produce tall green and bushy shoots. You can add them to any salad. This one can also be fun to grow from an eggshell:

  1. Soft boil the egg to have with bread, we call it dippy egg with soldiers.

  2. Make sure the inside of the shell is completely empty and cleaned.

  3. Give the egg some character with his own face.

  4. Put a small piece of dampened kitchen roll inside the decorated eggshell

  5. Place the carrot top (about half an inch in height) onto the kitchen roll.

  6. Watch as your eggshell face grows a full head of hair!

Celery: Another really easy one to grow- make sure you purchase the whole plant (not just the individual celery sticks). Buying the whole plant usually works out as cheaper and is less likely to be wrapped in plastic too:

  1. Cut off all of the stalks at once, around 4 inches from the base. 

  2. Don't worry if you are not going to use them all at once. Put the ones you do not want to use in an inch or so of water and they will keep there for longer than they would have done in the fridge (do remember to change the water every couple of days)

  3. Now take the base of the celery plant and place it in a plant pot (around 4-inch depth should be great) filled with 3 inches of soil.

  4. Leave the tops of the base showing and watch as the celery plant keeps on growing!

These next ideas are less for kitchen scraps. We call them the back of the fridge forgottenabouts

 

Potatoes: You can buy seed potatoes from shops- they look a bit wrinkly and old. If you do find some old potatoes in the bottom of your fridge and they look like this then don't throw them out!

  1. Place them in an old cardboard egg carton.

  2. Place them in the back of your cupboard. We take ours out once a day/ couple of days to have a look at.

  3. When they have a few white shoots coming from them- 5/6 is usually a minimum you could put them straight into a patch of garden or put them in a deep plant pot and leave them on your windowsill.

  4. Eventually, they will need to be planted outside (we have seen them grown in garden waste bags!) but it can be fun to watch them grow on your windowsill to start.

Garlic: Now (early spring) is the perfect time to get these outside. You don't need much space, a deep plant pot will do. They grow brilliantly when planted just before the last frost of the year. This is also a regular forgottenabout in our household. The dried, sprouting kind that looks like it might keep going even in our fridge.

  1. We make sure we have good, well-prepared soil (this does take a bit of planning with the soil prepared a month in advance). We mix 1 part compost with 3 parts topsoil

  2. Plant your garlic bulbs around 2 inches deep and 6 inches apart, with the shoot pointing upwards.

  3. They will grow throughout the year but you can cut the green shoots off intermittently. These are great in a stir fry, and fun for the girls to go and cut and collect to help with the cooking.

  4. We harvest in Autumn but have read in some places that you should not harvest the first year.

The Aquaponics Project

 

At the Aquaponics Project our dream is to inspire and empower people to grow their own food.

 

We are a business in its infancy, looking forward to launching our first products in June 2021. You can follow along with our journey as we post our prototypes as they are developed on both our Instagram and Facebook pages. 

 

We sell aquaponics systems and education packages to suit your space, time and needs.

 

We believe everyone should have the chance to reconnect with where their food comes from. Our aquaponics systems offer you the chance to become either partially or fully self-sufficient in growing your own organic food from the comfort of your own gardens and homes. Our home produce systems make use of aquaponics technology to grow fish and plants alongside each other. They offer higher yields, take up a fraction of the space, have a fraction of the environmental impact and will take a fraction of your time compared with conventional growing.

 

To find out more about aquaponics and its benefits compared to conventional gardening then check out our education centre. Our very first post explains how aquaponics works.