If you would like to join to begin posting and become an active member, feel free to click on THIS LINK, to register. If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the Forum Operations / Issues forum. If you register, but then are unable to log in, please feel free to post concerns in the Having Problems Logging In? forum. We will address any and all questions, comments, or concerns, as quickly as possible. Welcome to the Living In Cambodia Forums!
In this post I will try to answer questions if I can? Help with the best of my knowledge if possible. Firstly I am not a full time 'Farmer'. In the 60s and 70s I worked as a kid on local farms to earn a little money. I came from a poor background. I have always worked hard and craved knowledge and learning.
Like Kenny in the late 70s I was interested, and studied Hydroponics. But in later (self taught years). I saw the advantages, and challenging disadvantages of Aquaponics.
Firstly. We must understand the basic needs of what a plant needs to live and grow. Water, Nutrients, Air, light, Temperature, space, and time.
Water - To feed (just the same way, we need to drink) and used to carry the nutrients. Too little or too much water or nutrients can also be harmful.
Nutrients - The most important nutrients for plants growing needs are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Nitrogen is necessary for making green leaves, phosphorus is needed for making big flowers and strong roots, and potassium helps the plants fight off disease.
Temperature - Most plants prefer cooler nighttime temps and warmer daytime temperatures.
Air and Light - Fresh, clean air and light are essential for healthy growth. Plants are the greatest consumer of solar energy, using power from the sun to mix up an energy rich meal. The process where plants make their own food is known as photosynthesis.
Space and Time - Plants need room to grow. Without enough room, plants can become stunted or too small. Overcrowded plants are also more likely to suffer from diseases since airflow may be limited. Finally, plants require time and care.
To go back and answer a question? Most seeds will be required to germinate in darkness.
Paul mentioned lighting? Back in the early days, and still mostly now! The lights used for hydroponic growing would be very expensive 600w.
With the new technology of LCD lights on the market, and now very good growing media available via the internet. I had returned some years ago to experiment with Hydroponic indoor growing again. The following photo's are of working prototypes. Drip feed and Flood and drain systems.
This is a drip feed system to accommodate four young plants. When the plants grow too large they are moved into their own single unit.
The pipes can be placed freely and water flow can be regulated via the taps. The pump works with a timer. The built in temperature gauge is nice useful feature.
This is a Flood and drain system (without a Bell Syphon). Again the pump is on the timer! When the pump stops, the water flows back via the pump.
Same concept, just slower return flow (use for large plant).
Just some of the components needed to build. I use the air-stone in the grow bed to give more oxygen to the plants roots. This all works on the watering cycles, when the timer ends the pump and air stop too.
Flower used to illustrate.
LCD Light can be adjusted accordingly.
All the parts I used to make the above prototypes are storage components, from a well known European furniture outlet! Now very well established in Thailand.
So, January of last year (2016), we dug a new pond, filled in an old pond, and added a bit more fill dirt about to expand the higher land at the farm.
Running a bit behind, mostly due to rainy season lasting into January of this year, and delays in getting funds transferred. But, we are here now. Chan rang the farm today, learning the dirt guys were across the road working. Talk about timing. She got off the phone and let me know what was happening. So, for tomorrow (Monday the 13th), we agreed to pay $8.00 per load of dirt, delivered and filled in to continue expanding the higher property so we will be able to expand the farm with livestock. We will build a larger barn for the cows, to allow for those to have needed room, and for future cows, as well.
A bit later, someone rang us from the farm. It was a neighbor who lives very close by, letting us know she would like a pond dug. So, it looks like this could be a win-win situation for us, and the neighbor. Due to them being so close to the property, we will get the loads of dirt needed, at $7.00 each. Possibly even cheaper. (Negotiating tomorrow, at the farm.) We will start with another, oh, 50 to 60 loads or so, then see where that puts us. So, it looks like there is no need for us to dig another pond, or expand our current pond at the farm, at this time.
Countries in the ASEAN* region have set up a Food and Feed Insects Association (AFFIA). With AFFIA, those involved in insect application for feed and food join forces.
Using insects for feed and food is a young sector in the ASEAN region. The mission and aim of AFFIA is to bring industry and research stakeholders from the insects sector in a collaborative movement towards the development of entomoculture, entomophagy and their related activities.
Objectives have been formulated and include:
â€¢Define regulatory requirements at National and ASEAN levels for insect products and work in collaboration with the related authorities (national, regional, international)
â€¢Work together on access to markets, at local regional and international levels, especially EU and US market
â€¢Work in sub-groups under two main sectors called â€˜Foodâ€™ and â€˜Feedâ€™. Food includes insect species having most of their applications as human food (e.g. pet food [crickets]). Feed includes insect species having most of their applications as animal feed (e.g. waste management)
â€¢Promote the consumption of insects
â€¢Work together on transboundary issues to define shared positions (e.g. halal status)
AFFIA had it first meeting in South East Asia where the stakeholders discussed how shared development goals are overcoming national differences. Next steps include to define the activities, and mapping the industry in South East Asia, to make sure all the important insect industry players will be included in the network.
Read all the latest news and articles about insects in feed in the New Proteins dossier.
With AFFIA, the insect for feed and food sector is becoming a true global network and forms a valuable addition to the existing networks: the International Platform for Insects as Food and Feed (IPIFF), the North American Edible Insects Association (NAEIC).
*ASEAN: Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Brunei.
Remember early this year, when we filled in the "old" pond, and dug a new one? Well, while I am a bit late with photos of the new pond full of water, they have finally arrived. It's been full for a while. But, just finding the time to get out to the farm and get photos, is what has been the issue.
Last image during dry season, after the pond was dug:
Current image of the pond:
If you folks recall, it is currently 10 meters by 12 meters, by 4 meters deep.
We are definitely going to need an aerator for that pond, at least during daylight hours.