Well the garden has come a long way. We are almost done with completely enclosing the system. It is a hybrid greenhouse. This does a couple things; it helps keep bugs out, and just recently, protected all the plants from a freeze. A lot of the backyard plants did not do well, everything inside the greenhouse is fabulous. It’s January and feels like spring inside there. It’s taken a little longer than we hoped to get the coverage up, but looks like it’s well worth it.
The end of summer gardening slump hit. A kind of blah. The plant, grow, harvest, eat, routine started to feel exactly that – routine. I needed a pick me up. That’s when we realized, it was time to catch some fish. Since we had added some unexpected babies to the system we knew we could thin the herd a little. So, with all the sportsmanship of shooting fish in a barrel, my husband plucked out 6 of the largest tilapia to clean and cook. A first for us. He set out to learn how to clean and fillet by watching some Youtube’s. He bought a good fillet knife, asked a friend who fishes for some advice. The men took 3 fish each and used their own style to prepare them. My husband chose to try to fillet his. This will require much more practice, it left some small pieces but they looked great. His friend used the cut, gut, and fry method. Both turned out delicious! Pan fried and broiled versions were moist and tender white fresh fish. The aquaponic system is definitely not about producing fish for meals. It’s a very long process to grow the fish to meal size. The purpose of the fish are to keep the plants growing. The occasional fish dinner we get is just a bonus. But what a nice bonus. I will admit, I had just a little hesitation. Oh I went along with the idea – sure honey, catch that fish and cook it up. But, I’m a suburban girl. It’s hard to get used to food that doesn’t come home from the market wrapped in plastic. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one. That may be the biggest block to getting our food sourced locally and more fresh food from our own hands. I’m sure there is a generation and a half out there that have no idea where food comes from; other then the grocery store aisle packed in cardboard boxes with bright colored labels. A food revolution is going to have to start with one backyard farmer at a time.