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all about the finest things in life

Aquaponics and Food July 26, 2011

Aquaponic became a major interest of mine last year sometime when I did a training in it’s theory and practices with a man in the Bay Area of California.  He’s a Kenyan guy named Eric, from Kijiji Grows.  Eric took us through a few days of discussion and practicum in building Aquaponic systems.   Aquaponics is basically a combined science of aquaculture or fish raising with hydroponics (non soil based plant growth) to produce food in a highly efficient and low waste, symbiotic system.  It’s a system that is nothing new, utilized in ancient Mexican Aztec civilization, and I even heard about its use in various parts of Africa, though not called by the name Aquaponics of course.

Aquaponics is basically a 2 part system, an aquaculture tank for the raising of fish and a hydroponic (non soil based) garden for the growth of vegetables.  Basically in this system, the fish tank water becomes full of toxic effluent, or fish waste and uneaten foodstuffs. Though toxic to the fish, this effluent is transformed into a food source appropriate for the growth of various vegetables.

I got on the Aquaponics wagon as I learned more about water scarcity on the planet as well as the fact that there are places where the soil just isn’t fit for the growth of healthy and rich vegetables.   The instructor Eric had worked in a dry desert like area of Kenya showing local folks how to put together  aquaponics systems with things found locally and helped the folks of that remote region take control of their food security issues.

On a recent trip to Senegal West Africa, I saw a locale that could greatly benefit from the implementation of Aquaponics urban gardens.  In the city I was based in Dakar, I saw so little in the way of food growth and though one organization Jica, a Japanese non governmental was doing aquaculture projects in the South, I still saw room for some massive projects involving Aquaponics in this fish industry based nation.

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Natural High July 22, 2011

So this is the first Earthkeepin  entry in a long time. Since last entries, my lil earth guardian and I have done a few years in the Bay Area,  after a good long trip to Mexico Lindo and then on to the South of France, checking out the lovely lavender and beautiful hills of that region.  Throughout this journeying, we’ve tried to stay tapped into green movement and lifestyle.

From the Bay, we launched off to Senegal West Africa early this year to check out the Sahel and discover the magical richness of that land and any movements surrounding that.   From there, we blew across the lovely island of Gran Canaria for 2 months, taking in the subtle beauty of the dry, while lush terrain and the incredibly kind and friendly folks of the Canaries.  Our little few month tour has landed us right back home in the so called Dirty South, living close to the earth and enjoying watching the reap of our sow..

As of late, my lil one and I have a primary interest in growing yummy scrumptious delicious food!  We have done it all, from hydroponics to aquaponics and right now, we are back to working with the good ole earth,  to grow organic  food to nourish the nation!

Stay with us as we embark on larger scale food projects and grow deeper in our knowledge of sustainable practices,  and organic living…

 

This is Ka sowing away

 

 

Watermelon in its Fullness

This is from the Yard

 

A Gigantic Zucchini

Straight from Earth's Garden

 

Everyone Has A Right to E.A.T. April 30, 2008

Filed under: Organic Foods — indigoseed @ 6:08 pm
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The Food Crisis is sparking a wave of violence throughout already destitute countries such as Haiti, several countries in Africa as well as in the Far East.  My heart aches for all those wondering how they are going to sustain themselves for the months to come with basic commodity prices soaring to insane highs.  The saddest aspect of this crisis is the fact that so many native people have given up their natural born right to grow their own food, some due to outside forces, and others through a growing disconnection to the land and what it means to caretake it and benefit from that.

Like the powerful movie “Life and Debt” by Stephanie Black demonstrated, many farmers in Jamaica and world wide have been forced out of business due to their inability to compete with the flooding of their local markets with foreign, primarily gmo’d foods.

Project E.A.T. held a public viewing of the film this past weekend to expose the greater public of Ft. Lauderdale to this information. Many felt like the film was “preaching to the choir” for them yet there was an overwhelming sense of helplessness and an inability to counteract these superpowers and the damage that is being done to poor people worldwide.

The most important and self empowering thing we can all do right now is start with the basics. We need to be saving seed, planting seed,composting our foods, reaping food planted with our own hands, and  buying from local farmers and going GREEN in every single way that we can…

As I sit here in a beautiful home in South Florida, a literal swim away from the island of Haiti, I think about the gross disparity of here and there and the fact that children are eating mud pies mixed with oil to stay alive right now.  As much as many Americans and world citizens want to block out the reality, it is going on all over the world and should not be ignored or dismissed as ‘karma’.  It seems like we have to start at home, taking small steps to create the change that reverberates throughout the globe.  It’s up to us….

 

The Need to Save the Seed April 29, 2008

Filed under: Organic Foods — indigoseed @ 4:07 pm
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With the current food crisis upon us, the need for further control over our own food is of utmost importance. Backyard and kitchen gardening with compost and other organic products are some practices we can all incorporate into our lives to increase sustainability. There is a growing shortage of organic seeds and heirlooms on this planet now especially with the common practice of planting gmo and using other unnatural substances such as chemical based pesticides, herbicides and a whole host of frightening substances that negatively effect our health and environment.

Seed saving is a simple way to take charge of our food and our lives.

Steps to seed saving (the simple method):


1. Remove the seeds from all fruits and veggies that you have eaten, especially those that were most delicious to you since those are the strains we want to see proliferate again.

2. Clean the seeds thoroughly with apple cider vinegar and distilled water or even a biodegradable soap, ensuring that none of the fruit flesh remains on the seed.

3. COOL AND DRY. These are the key words for storage of these seeds. Allow them to be in a cool and dry place for as long as needed to ensure thorough drying. You’ll know smaller seeds are truly dry if they break as opposed to bend when pressure is applied.

4. Store the seeds in labeled containers such as paper or plastic envelopes and if storage is for extended periods, then place in a jar and store in the freezer.


These are some simple steps to saving seeds and will allow us to preserve our organic seeds and continue in promoting the planting of natural, healthful foods!

 

Project Ecology Agriculture and Trade (E.A.T.) Doin the Good Work April 24, 2008

Filed under: Organic Foods — indigoseed @ 3:32 am
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I recently trekked with my 3 year old across country to link up with an organization called Project E.A.T. (www.projecteat.org). This non profit organization is in the processing of carrying out some key missions throughout the South Florida regions as well as in Jamaica, Ethiopia and Ghana currently. E.A.T. Jamaica is a really important project right now involving the formation of a farmer co-op in the Blue Mountain region of Portland Jamaica. It is in this region that farmers are being forced to watch their own crops die because of foreign monopoly of the produce market and the unwise heavy import of foreign gmo’d produce to the people of this land. It’s sad to see the way in which these farmers watch their hard work and care go to waste while engineered foods from outside have taken over their former markets. E.A.T. Jamaica seeks to rectify some of this disparity by documentation through multi-media, co-op formation and export market creation as well as shipping services for these farmers and other poor farmers throughout the world.

Some of the focuses of the organization right now in regards to the E.A.T. Jamaica project are centered on matching the 200,000 seeds the Minister of Agriculture recently commissioned to be planted by Jamaicans in response to the looming food crisis effecting 3rd World countries and the world currently. As an answer to this call, Project E.A.T. seeks to match this seed request. In addition, we can provide the government of Jamaica with high quality Mother Earth Foods organic fertilizer as well as donated farm equipment. Through these missions, a more solid foundation of socio-economic stability can begin to be formed for the people of this region.

The reality is that folks all over the planet are being forced to be made more responsible for the food they eat and where it comes from. No more can we blindly allow others to provide us with our food sources and expect true quality.

See the movie “The Future of Food” for more details into the frightening status of food and agriculture right now….

To learn more about the plight of Jamaican Farmers in the Blue Mountain Regions, please check out http://www.projecteat.org.

 

Artisana’s Raw Food Delights September 30, 2007

Filed under: Organic Foods — indigoseed @ 2:25 am

I’ve had an amazing year in raw foods and it’s mainly due to my introduction the wonderful world of Artisanas. Artisanas products are so rare and so full of manna, it’s unbelievable they aren’t in every supermarket. My first experience with Artisanas was with the Coconut Butter. This stuff remains my favorite of all their products and for good reason. Artisana’s Coconut Butter is like coconut cream heavan. With this butter you get the full coconut experience since nothing is added or taken out. It is truly a whole food and one that the average vegan/raw food enthusiast should never be with out. And the best part about it all is that it has all of the nutrients in tact thanks to being a raw food product, so you get plenty of protein, healthy fat, and vitamins in every serving.

This is such a versatile product. You can eat it melted which is automatic after 80 degrees or in a congealed state, that kind of reminds me of white chocolate. I love to pour the liquid Artisana’s Coconut Butter on

bananas and papaya,

throw on some chopped walnuts or hemp seeds and

maybe a dab of agave nectar for a simple but stunningly delicious treat.

We also make a delicious hot cocoa with the

Coconut Butter,

putting it in Yerba Mate,

with raw cacao powder and

agave nectar to taste

You can add the Coconut Butter in the end so that it melts in the water and doesn’t lose it’s enzymes in the heating process

Artisana’s has a ton of products outside of the butter. There’s Goji Bliss, Cacao Bliss, Delicious Raw Tahini dressing, among other nut butters and treats.
Check out David Wolfe’s company to get your hands on these products. Sunfood Nutrition�

 

Becoming Whole with Blue Green Algae-the E3AFA Solution September 26, 2007

Filed under: Organic Foods — indigoseed @ 7:30 pm
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I recently got turned on to E3AFA blue green algae in capsule form here on the Big Island where I live. One of the suppliers was successful enough to get the local mainstream grocery store to carry it, a pretty impressive task, and it seems to be flying off the shelves.

I started taking this algae after a former roommate of mind unknowingly left her big bottle of it behind. I was stoked to find it because I have a natural affinity blue green algae of all sorts. Spirulina has been a mainstay for me for many years and I use it to heal all types of conditions of imbalance, usually due too much acidic food in the diet in my case. Algae is just so alkaline and grounding while providing the body with an endless store of energy. All this said, E3AFA has definitely proved itself to be a powerful algae healer.

E3AFA is a raw food that is rich in just about every mineral, protein, and amino acid you can think of. It’s one of the best sources of chlorophyll as well. Due to it’s harvesting in the deep center of Klamath lake, it is untouched by industrial pollutants and great thought is put into conditions during harvesting to ensure the optimum product for consumers. I could go on and on but basically, everyone should try the stuff at least once. Take it and feel it electrify the body, easily assimilating and infusing the cells with much needed nutrition.
You can get it here:

 

 
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