INNOVATION

SEED BALL

Seed balls, also known as "earth balls" or consist of a variety of different seeds rolled within a ball of clay, preferably volcanic pyroclastic red clay. Into this medium various additives may be included, such as humus or compost. These are placed around the seeds, at the center of the ball, to provide microbial inoculants. Cotton-fibres or liquefied paper are sometimes mixed into the clay in order to strengthen it, or liquefied paper mash coated on the outside to further protect the clay ball during sowing by throwing, or in particularly harsh habitats


Inside seed ball

Seed balls/seed bombs are individually made in our greenhouse. Seeds are scarified if necessary prior to placing in the seed ball. Depending on the size and requirements of the plants, seeds are either mixed in with the soil before the seed balls are made or placed individually within the moist seed ball. Carefully hand rolls each seed ball until its just right. The seed balls are then air-dried, providing a safe haven for its contents until germination.


How to sow seed balls

Press them gently on the soil, about 2/3 of the way down. For added fun, throw them along the road, use a slingshot, or a boilie thrower.

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AQUA-PHOENIX

Aquaponics refers to any system that combines conventional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. In normal aquaculture, excretions from the animals being raised can accumulate in the water, increasing toxicity. In an aquaponic system, water from an aquaculture system is fed to a hydroponic system where the by-products are broken down by nitrifying bacteriainitially into nitrites and subsequently into nitrates that are utilized by the plants as nutrients. Then, the water is recirculated back to the aquaculture system.


Parts of an aquaponic system

Aquaponics consists of two main parts, with the aquaculture part for raising aquatic animals and the hydroponics part for growing plants. Aquatic effluents, resulting from uneaten feed or raising animals like fish, accumulate in water due to the closed-system recirculation of most aquaculture systems. The effluent-rich water becomes toxic to the aquatic animal in high concentrations but this contains nutrients essential for plant growth.Although consisting primarily of these two parts, aquaponics systems are usually grouped into several components or subsystems responsible for the effective removal of solid wastes, for adding bases to neutralize acids, or for maintaining water oxygenation.

Plant

An aquaponic system depends on different live components to work successfully. The three main live components are plants, fish (or other aquatic creatures) and bacteria. Some systems also include additional live components like worms Many plants are suitable for aquaponic systems, though which ones work for a specific system depends on the maturity and stocking density of the fish. These factors influence the concentration of nutrients from the fish effluent and how much of those nutrients are made available to the plant roots via bacteria. Green leaf vegetables with low to medium nutrient requirements are well adapted to aquaponic systems, including chinese cabbage, lettuce, basil, spinach, chives, herbs, and watercress


Fish

Freshwater fish are the most common aquatic animal raised using aquaponics due to their ability to tolerate crowding, although freshwater crayfish and prawns are also sometimes used. There is a branch of aquaponics using saltwater fish, called saltwater aquaponics. There are many species of warmwater and coldwater fish that adapt well to aquaculture systems.


Bacteria

Nitrification, the aerobic conversion of ammonia into nitrates, is one of the most important functions in an aquaponic system as it reduces the toxicity of the water for fish, and allows the resulting nitrate compounds to be removed by the plants for nourishment