Category Archives: Projects

My Aquaponics Nonprofit Social Enterprise Project

I am interested in comparative religion made popular by Joseph Campbell. Her I am learning about more about the philosophy of Confucianism at the Confucian temple
I am interested in comparative religion made popular by Joseph Campbell. Here I am learning more about the philosophy of Confucianism at the Confucian temple

Yesterday I had a meeting with the owner of the location where I thought I would develop the aquaponics project. The idea was to use the aquaponics as a foundation project for a nonprofit or a social enterprise. It’s now looking like this deal is not going to work out. I would say there is probably a 35 percent chance it will go through as I had planned. There are still parts of the plan that may work out, but it will be a very different operation.

I had hoped to use the facility to build aquaponics systems and also to do helpjul videos and Google hangouts. As I see it Google hangouts will be an important part of the whole concept. The third important part of this project was to use the location for a small food bank. I thought they would all work well together. We never even got around to talking about the food bank part of the operation.

Yesterday I spend a considerable amount of time thinking about what I need to do. You will notice the blog post for yesterday was a little on the sparse side. My mental energies were preoccupied chewing through and digesting the reality of how hard it’s going to be to start this project. I realized that I just don’t have the financial resources for the project as I envisioned it.

All is not lost.
One of the solutions I came up with was to get rid of my furniture and my TV to have room to do Google hangouts in my living room. I am also going to scale back on the aquaponics project from 400 to 1500 square feet to about 12 square feet. While I won’t be able to grow as much food, I will be able to design system to help others grow food. Eatable fish production is going to be put on hold.

Another part of the project I will need to put off for a while will be the food bank. But I am beginning to form a plan where I may be able to do even this, although on a very reduced scale.

There is an immediate donations that will help make my furniture free living room transition a bit easier. I need two or three small plastic storage sheds. Two of these will be used to store equipment I need for work and at least my old VCR. I keep my most often used dog training equipment and supplies within easy access, in the living room. The third shed will be used to secure some of the aquaponics equipment. I can also use other donations if you feel they are appropriate.

I am wishing you the very best in life,
Andrew Ledford
Dog training website
OCDogTraining.com

 

Aquaponics My First Experience

Can a childhood experiment turn into a midlife business?

Not a crayfish but it is aquatic
Not a crayfish but it is aquatic

Yesterday I mentioned that I first became interested in the ideas behind aquaponics after reading the works of Konrad Lorenz. As I got to thinking about it I decided that was not quite right. I guess I first started playing with the idea around third and fourth grade.

I believe it was in third grade that I started reading a lot of books. I remember most of them were from Golden Press. I think I had every book in that particular series. Just about all of these books were about animals. The book I had the hardest time understanding was about zoology. In particular I had a hard time figuring out Mendelian genetics. I remember this because I was doing Mendelian inspired experiments on the corn I was raising.

I thoroughly enjoy corn and I happen to have control of CornLover.com do you know anyone who would like to buy it?

Around this same time I was also raising crayfish and minnows in a big cement tub. I now believe this is the first time I had exposure to a very simple aquaponics system. It was not all that successful. As I remember I had watercress to help clean the water. But there was no circulation or at least very little and it was quite irregular.

I also remember writing a book about crayfish during this time as well as dissecting them.

In the beginning my crayfish minnow system worked quite well then something happened. Something went our of balance and there was an ecological disaster. It didn’t happen right away. It started with a noticeable decline in my minnow population. It was not long until all the minnows disappeared. Soon after the minnows were gone I noticed my crayfish population was declining. Eventually I only had one crayfish left.

I think I should have planed my system a bit better. Or, an adult should have given me some suggestion. I think adult help and encouragement would have been of assistance.

Anyway let’s see what happens when I try building my first true aquaponics system involving harvestable plant crops and fish. I am sure I will run into some challenges. I have been getting acquainted with how others have been doing it. I plan on starting with a simple design and then moving to more interesting forms of production.

I am wishing you the very best in life,
Andrew Ledford
Dog training website
OCDogTraining.com

Grow your own fish and vegetables = Aquaponics

With aquaponics you can raise both decorative Fish or fish for food
With aquaponics you can raise both decorative fish or fish for food

Aquaponics is a self sustaining food production system. It combines aquaculture (raising aquatic animals, mainly fish) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water). I have always been fascinated by the possibilities of these water, fish, plant systems. I first became interested in this theory from reading the works of Konrad Lorenz. Lorenz would build harmonious mini ecosystems to keep his vast and sometime exotic aquatic collections alive. Lorenz is probably best known for his work with imprinting.

With an aquaponics system the plants are grown in a sub straight or medium such as gavel or small stones. The growing medium has a few functions. First is to give the plant a place to develop their root structure for support and nutrients uptake. The medium also provided a large surface area for growing helpful bacteria. It’s the bacteria we can thank for breaking down ammonia and nitrites. Once the bacteria has done its work all those soilless roots can more easily use the resulting nitrates.

After the bacteria and plants neutralize the ammonia and eat up the excess nitrate the water is once again fit for fish.

Aquaponics systems are part of my vision for a social enterprise / nonprofit. I may have a location to start this part of my project. If you would like to help build systems or source material leave a comment. If you know me let’s talk. I hope to start building my first system before 2013.

I am wishing you the very best in life,
Andrew Ledford
Dog training website
OCDogTraining.com

 

A Charity Of My Own

As a few of you know I have been thinking about starting a nonprofit. Most people I tell this to immediately think my charity would be a dog rescue. Well that is partially true. I did think that a type of dog rescue would be one of the first projects. However as I see it, humans need more help than do dogs. Without humans the dog as we know it would probably not exist. The great thing is, in the process of helping humans we can also help dogs.

I am thinking that the fist project I would like to do is to collect food for those in need.

Hopefully from this I will be able to raise my online presents enough that I would get more work. More paid dog training would mean I could afford insurance and a bookkeeper for a pet rescue. After the pet rescue is funded the work will really begin. This will not be an ordinary rescue. I predict a lot of people in the rescue community will not like it. At least I’m consistent, pretty much everything I do is unpopular.

Just because it is unpopular doesn’t mean it’s bad. But it might go against some culturally preconceived notions of what a rescue should be. Hence the cultural rule component of my 7 track system.

Me Doing Reinforcement Training With A Pit Bull
Me Doing Reinforcement Training With A Pit Bull

When I first started training dogs my style of training was frowned upon. I was constantly criticized. People I worked for would first ask me “how did you get the dog to do that?” Then they would tell me “you can’t train dogs that way.” Before I told them how I trained they were impressed. After I told them they told me what I did was not possible. Even if that type of training was not impossible it was at least culturally unacceptable. Now positive reinforcement training is standard in the dog training industry.

Reinforcement Dog Training
Reinforcement Dog Training

Food collection and a pet rescue would be the beginning, I will unfold the bigger picture as the blogging continues.

As always I am wishing you the very best in life,
Andrew Ledford