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 Post subject: Where should I set up?
PostPosted: Oct 1st, '18, 08:01 
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Joined: Sep 29th, '18, 06:58
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Location: Fleming Island, Florida, USA
I understand this is completely dependant on what I want to do and how big I want to go, but I could easily over think this and not be aware of all the considerations when choosing a location. I just moved into a new house, and eventually want to make a business out of AP farming. But I'd like to go commercial sized, by buying some land and building a green house or two. But that's something down the road, and I am going to start on a much smaller scale here at the house. I'm looking for a lot of personal harvesting, and some cash crop to get a feel for the market and possibly get any licensing or certifications that I could benefit from on a larger scale.

I live in North Florida, right on the line between 8b and 9a on the USDA heartiness zone map, which shows an average lower extreme temperature of -9.4 to -3.6 C. I live in a neighborhood with pretty dense vegetation, with garden snakes, loads of spiders, frogs, mole crickets, and who knows what else. These are just what I've seen in the 4 days of living here. I've watched heaps of videos and have seen lots of setups, but not a lot of info on the considerations of how to setup, because it seems most people are making use of the limited space they have. I have quite a bit of space, some in shaded areas, some in the sun, and even a nice covered concrete porch area. So I have a lot of decisions to make. The area I'm initially considering even has a considerable elevation change that I can utilize if needed. (Shaded side of the yard).

My water supply here is a deep well, and I have a moat around the front of the house that is fed by runoff from the well (it cycles through a watercooled AC unit). I already have minnows thriving in it, and I've seen plenty of baby frogs. I'm thinking of promoting the minnow population and growing duckweed in the moat to use as feed.

So basically, I'm asking what you would do with this location so I can get some ideas on where to start. I'm planning on buying however many IBC totes I'd need and would like to incorporate one or more DWC tables along with media based tables. NFT is not out of the picture either.

My wishful thinking of some of the plants would be blueberries, paw paw, and I REALLY want to try to grow apple bananas. Of course I would include staple greens, but I haven't seen spinach yet in any videos, which I would also love to grow. Chinese cabbage is another I'd like to grow a lot of because I'm half Korean and can make some mean kimchi, and there seems to be a niche market for that around here. I'm also a welder/fabricator, certified pipe fitter, and previously a flight engineer, so the sky is pretty much the limit with what I can build as far as DIY goes. I just need to know what to build.

The fence is about 2m high on the sides and 2.3m along the back for a size reference. These were taken about 10am.


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PostPosted: Oct 1st, '18, 08:08 
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Here are some shots of the moat. It only runs along the front of the house.


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PostPosted: Oct 1st, '18, 08:17 
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Bonus points if you can tell me what this tree is. I've been searching through every picture and tree identification website and can't find anything even remotely similar. The leaves are all around 50-65mm long, and whatever is growing is mostly three panel, but some have 4. I know I can just wait to see what they turn out to be but curiosity is getting to me. We have ruby red grapefruit trees and black walnut trees on the property, so I'm hoping this is something edible too.


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PostPosted: Oct 1st, '18, 10:02 
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Location: Riverland Sth Australia
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First thing is research your sun track through the seasons to make use of available sunlight the closer you are to the equator the less change in sun angle you will get .

If you have savage sun through your hot season (like me) you can make use of shade to help.

Water costs $$$ to pump so don't look at pumping long distance as every bit of pumping height / metre of distance / every bend in the pipe / every tap fittings ect eat into your flow rate fast .

Frogs lizards spiders are your best friends they work for you all night for FREE eating aphids , white fly ect that attack your plants , so provide a stack of logs or similar next to your system for them to hide in , up off the ground to avoid snakes if required. This is my number (1) for bug control.

Ask around the veg gardeners in your neighbours for tips on conditions what grows well and what after dark raiders you might / will have to deal with

You may need to build a shelter / cage and big tip here do that FIRST its a pain building over the top of systems (ladder access ect)

Pic shows one of my set ups and a few options on assembly , the cages make shifting around easy , I put treated(white ants) timber underneath to make levels easy and reduce sinking in wet conditions .

My system is due for another shift around the corner into a green / shadehouse where I will have roll back covers so I can manage the big swings in temperature that we get .




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PostPosted: Oct 1st, '18, 11:52 
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That's a lot of good info, and exactly the type of stuff I'm looking to hear. Is soft tubing normally used after the pump to eliminate sharp turns in flow? I'm sure with anything gravity driven it wouldn't make a difference. I'm thinking of going with a single pump from a sump tank and splitting off separately to the first and plant side on the same level. Is that how yours is set up?


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PostPosted: Oct 1st, '18, 17:51 
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Both those systems pump from sump to fish tank through 40mm pvc then gravity flow to growbeds via 50mm pvc then return to sump via 25mm pipe.

Pumping though large pipe will give you more Lph

The growbeds drop 50mm each which gives a good flow away from the fish tank , in the past I have set up growbeds on the level and found current set up much easier to manage.

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