Aquaponics farm looking for a new home

The magic of opening up the poly tunnel doors onto a sea of aquaponic greens never goes away. Built six years ago in the car park beside the Fair Food warehouse the 120 square metre commercial aquaponics system will be growing its last coriander bunch when Fair Food moves to its new Preston home in June.

Built by CERES visionary Steven Mushin and roving aquaponics pioneer Dr Wilson Lennard the system was  all about demonstrating how city people could  farm even if the only land they had was a car park.  To make it easy for anyone could replicate, Steve chose easily available materials like the shipping container that holds the fish tanks, a standard commercial poly tunnel, form ply to make grow beds and off-the-shelf plumbing bits and pieces to connect it all together.

The system mimics a living pond; waste nutrients from the fish are cycled through long grow beds and are taken up by plants on floating rafts. In the protected environment plants grow very quickly but also use very little water.  As a dirt farmer I was always jealous that there was no weeding.

Over the years there have been several budding aquaponicists farming the long flotation beds, but our mainstay has been Tony Audley (that’s Tony above). Tony came to CERES as a horticulture lecturer who always wanted to give farming a go.

Assisted by Steve, Wilson and his partner, Tess, Tony did indeed give farming a red hot go and even in the the hard times when it seemed keeping fish in a car park was too much of an ask, he kept at it and worked out how to make aquaponics work.

Tony’s persistence paid off and he and his rainbow trout, soothed by the sounds of a boom box locked onto ABC Classic FM, have grown countless bunches of basil, coriander, salad and asian greens, spinach, even watercress for Fair Food customers. 

Tony’s off soon to work on an aquaponics education project with Whittlesea Council and sadly there’s not enough room for an aquaponics farm at the new Fair Food warehouse. In the meantime we’ve decided to put the system up for sale to anybody who’d like to give farming in the city their own red-hot go. 

If you’d like to know more email Chris for details.

 

Next Day Delivery debuts

This week we’re rolling out Next-Day-Delivery.   

Next Day Delivery means you can put your order in  right up until midday the day before your delivery day. 

So instead of having to get your order in by midnight Sunday in time for a Tuesday delivery you now have until midday Monday to order.  

On Wednesday the order cut-off is midday Tuesday and  if you want a delivery on Thursday – you have until midday Wednesday to order.

If you have questions or comments about the new system or notice something NQR send us an email or call us on 8673 6288.

Have a great week

Chris

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