Saturday, 31 July 2010

Hey Annnneeee!:)

So ive been working on a project at jaaga, where we are setting up a large scale vertical garden, a roof top vegetable garden, and a large aquaponics system. This is the first time i actually came across the aquaponics syatem. Its a super cool idea! Thought id share it with you.

Aquaponics is a method of cultivating both crops and fish in a controlled environment. The fish are kept in tanks, and the plants are grown hydroponically -- meaning without soil. They sit in beds, but their roots hang down into a tub of water. When fish live in tanks, their waste builds up in the water, and it eventually becomes poisonous to them. But what is toxic for fish is nourishing for plants -- they love nothing more than to suck down some fish waste. So with aquaponics, the fish waste-laden water from the fish tanks is funneled to the tubs where the plants dangle their roots. When the plants absorb the nutrients they need from that water, they basically cleanse it of toxins for the fish. Then that same cleansed water can be funneled back into the fish tanks.

This method of farming fish and crops is a good thing on several different levels. First of all, it removes fertilizer and chemicals from the agricultural process. The fish waste acts as a natural fertilizer for the crops, instead. Second of all, it saves water because the water is recycled within the tanks rather than sprayed across a field of crops with abandon. Thirdly, an aquaponics environment can be set up anywhere, so it reduces the need for local communities to import fish and crops from other countries. That saves fuel -- also a positive.

Aquaponics, with its fancy name, may sound like a trendy new concept developed by environmentalists. But it's actually as old as the hills. The origins of aquaponics can be traced to ancient Egyptian and Aztec cultures. The ancient Aztecs developed chinampas, man-made floating islands, which consisted of rectangular areas of fertile land on lake beds. Aztecs cultivated maize, squas h and other plants on the chinampas and fish in the canals surrounding them. The fish waste settled on the bottom of the canals, and the Aztecs collected the waste to use as fertilizer [source: Growfish]. Additionally, countries in the Far East like Thailand and China have long used aquaponic techniques in rice paddies.

(info from how stuff

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Cedrus Deodara, Manali Nature Park

In Manali there is a small, but really magical nature park, that stretches all the way from New to Old Manali. The most dominant tree in this park is the Deodar Cedar or Cedrus deodara. It is an amazing, huge tree, which grows very straight. I was told that this tree never points its branches directly towards the other Cedars around it! I checked, and its true!! This is quite an extraordinary tree and very beautiful too. Simply fascinating... I figuered a tree like this had to have some religious significance so I looked it up and it turns out that Deodara is derived from deodaru, which is a Sanskrit term meaning: wood of the gods. In Hindu religion the tree is worshipped as a divine tree. And apparently forrests like this one, full og Deodar Cedars, were favorite living- and meditation places for shivaites. The tree also has several ayurvedic propereties. But all this information seems evident to you when you are standing next to it. A truly magical tree...

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Urban farming

Hej nikituuuuu. This is really cool. I just read about this in the newspaper yesterday. In detroit the population has decreased by almost 50 % during the last 50 years leaving the city completely deserted and full of empty houses and and factories but now they started using the empty land to grow stuff. Making free vegetable gardens for everyone to plant and harvest. Its amazing. Apparently its a common phenomenon. Its happening in many cities I just found it so fantastic that this completely unattractive abandoned city had become this super potential full of public vegetable gardens- place. Very posetive. Tjeck this link:

Is this cool or what?

A great use of old plastic bottles as planters!