The Expansion part 3: planting vegetables!

As you might have read in one of our previous posts, the Belhar Early Childhood Development Centre is using the first funding to install new grow beds. This expansion is the first step in making the Aquaponic System profitable, creating a sustainable source of income to provide a better environment for the children of the Centre. 

The new installation uses a slightly different method to set-up the grow beds. By cutting a 1000L water tank into three “layers”, the grow bed consists out of three separate square meters of growing area (see the upper images). The benefit of this method is that there is a larger growing area for the plants, and the system is more remote as the grow beds are smaller. This makes the system easier to manage, which is essential for the continuation of the project.

Last week, the final stage of the expansion was realised. Firstly, clay and stones were bought to fill the grow beds. This creates the soil for the vegetables and herbs. When this was all installed, Mr. Hartzenberg, head of the Belhar Community Centre, bought new plants to fill the grow beds. The first harvest will consist out of basil, lettuce, cucumber and tomato. Everyone is very excited to see how this harvest turns out.

As usual, any progress will be posted on this website 😉

The Expansion part 2: Installing new grow beds

As you might have read in one of our previous posts, the Belhar Early Childhood Development Centre is using the first funding to install new grow beds. This expansion is the first step in making the Aquaponic System profitable, creating a sustainable source of income to provide a better environment for the children of the Centre.

The new installation uses a slightly different method to set-up the grow beds. By cutting a 1000L water tank into three “layers”, the grow bed consists out of three separate square meters of growing area (see the upper images). The benefit of this method is that there is a larger growing area for the plants, and the system is more remote as the grow beds are smaller. This makes the system easier to manage, which is essential for the continuation of the project.

Currently, the last steps of the installation are taking place: controlling the water flow throughout the system, making sure the fish and plants are in a controlled and “relaxed” environment. The next step would be the adding of the clay and stones and buying new seedlings (baby vegetables) so that the Belhar Centre can do their first harvest with the new set-up!

As usual, any progress will be posted on this website 🙂
Happy holidays on behalf of Beleaf and the Belhar Centre!







The Expansion part 1: Buying new grow beds

Thanks to the new funds (see the previous post), we were able to buy the first part of the equipment needed for the expansion: the fish tank and grow beds. This morning, six tanks were delivered and stored at the Belhar Centre.

In the coming months, we are planning to install new grow beds following the handbook of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2015). As you can see in the picture below, the tanks will be cut into halves. Three of the tanks are needed for one grow bed, so this delivery will give us two new grow beds. In the coming weeks, the tanks will be filled with water, fish, clay pebbles, duckweed and, of course, vegetables. We will help the Belhar Centre with this work, and try to involve the children as much as possible. This is the first step towards a profitable system which is so valuable for the Belhar Centre and the children.

As usual, any progress will be posted on the website 🙂

source: food and agriculture united nations, “Small scale aquaponic food production. Integrated fish and plant farming”, 2015