Paul Nickerson

Posts Tagged ‘gardening’

Pressing Cider

In Gardening on December 11, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Cider PressI know this is not related to Aquaponics, but it was definitely a wonderful project that I think you all should try if you get the chance. This past week I had the opportunity to press some more cider this season. My research adviser owns a large, hand-cranked cider press. We have pressed many gallons of cider this season from seconds and drops.

When pressing cider, it is preferred to use seconds. Drops are cheaper (typically free) if you can get them from someone you know who has trees. Many orchards will not sell drops as they can harbor many fungi and bacteria. If you use drops, it is advised to pasteurize the cider. Pasteurizing cider is a very simple process. Instructions can be found easily online.

IMG_0594We used seconds for this round of pressing. I purchased a half bushel of seconds for about eight dollars from a local orchard. Some of the apples had large bruises on them. Dr. Foster advises discarding any apple than you can press your thumb into easily. Fortunately, I was able to select my apple directly from the orchard, and pressed them the same day. Apples that have some damage and have started to break down sugars make the best cider. From our half bushel we were able to harvest a little over two gallons of cider.

While we drank some of the cider immediately, I heat pasteurized and prepared two gallons of the cider for fermentation in sterilized glass carboys. I’ll most more on that in a little while. A word of advised from one of my professors, “When drinking raw cider, just remember not to drink to much, the more you drink the shorter the residence time.”

Drying Thai Basil

In Aquaponics, Gardening, Propagation on November 8, 2012 at 1:00 am

We recently harvested the Thai Basil from the system and are working on drying it in order to use it in the future. The flowers and leaves were spread out on large pieces of cardboard in front of the wood-stove. Hope-fully this method won’t take too long!

System With GroTech Gutters!

In Alternative Agriculture, Aquaponics, Gardening on March 27, 2012 at 6:05 pm

The 300 Gallon system is currently located at Messiah College, Grantham PA. We recently plumbed in a 180 plant, GroTech gutter system into the main sump tank. After having worked through a number of the problems with integrating different style systems, it seems to be producing well. There have been some Iron deficiencies, but nothing that a bit of Chelated Iron couldn’t fix.

The fish gave birth again! The fry seem to be doing well.

We will be working to integrate SOMAT waste from the cafeteria, as well as poultry waste as an alternative diet. Research in that area should start at the end of this week! I’ll keep you all posted!

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