Hopping Hopper

Stumble upon this Grasshopper changing its outer shell in one of my growbed.
Feel like a good time to record this on camera.
Its already reaches advance stage when I happen to see it.
This grasshopper must be a loner, only one in my backyard. It don't do any harm, so I just let it be.
Just like crab changing its outer shell, I suppose this must be the most dangerous time to be a Grasshopper.
Done, few more minutes it should be ready to fly away.

Three Little Piggies - Grown Up

These Yam once they recovered, without wasting time more saplings coming out. This is sign of good growth, and hopefully this small growbed can accommodate them.
This growbed cycle okay and water control like clock work, I am using the 20mm Siphon here. There was some issue with it earlier, manage to rectify by increasing the gap between top of stand pipe to bell dome.
If more sapling come out I need to get more growbed ready.

Stevia Rebaudiana - Update 16th May 2011

Previous Post : Here

Its flowering and from feedback that I got during this period it has a bitter sweet taste. Actually I not using it yet these few plants just to provide base stock for my trial.

I decide to trimmed this plant, remove all its flowering branches and let it concentrate on growing.
Nobody says that we must maintain its flower, so off it goes. Concentrate all your energy towards growing. I need more healthy cuttings for new plants.
Its a bit dark when I snap these shots, the cutting that I plants after a week it still surviving.
All the sugar flower, it has a nice fragrance to it. Very refreshing.
The ones that I just planted also flowering, will snip off those to get the plant to concentrate on growing.
Both blooming.

Three Little Piggies

First Little Piggies.. very proud and wanted to be seen.
Second Little Piggies.. too shy to be seen.
Third Little Piggies.., too small to be seen.

Time Out - Commuter

I love bikes, may it big or small. Been riding for the last 30+ years never been without a bike, the biggest I had is an 1100 the smallest was a 70 cub, the Honda C70. They say it the No. 1 bike according to Discovery Channel for what ever reason I don't know.

I commute daily on bike, previously when I need to travel daily 200+ kilometre I use the Beemer, now the distance has significantly reduce due to my new work place for the last 4 years, I use Scooter.

My old Scooter the Sym Joyride need replacing, decide to get its bigger brother The VTS 200. This Scooter is ideal for commuting its a joy to ride, very light on the pocket.
I can't stand the daily traffic jam, and I feel its a waste to have only one person in a car that can carry 5 for daily commute. Driving to work is a chore and most of the time I would end up worried about schedule.

I ride even when its rain cats and dogs, the only time I would stop and wait is when there is severe lightning storm, fearing on getting a strike is the reason.

I ride Scooter for the last 20 years and anyone that never tried a Scooter, I surely would recommend to try one. Its the most enjoyable ride one can have.

Another Growbed Needs Attention

The black tub, where those Asparagus been grown need some redoing. Since I have some free time today I decide to redo it. I did place that Stevia Rebaudiana in this tub yesterday as a temporary placement.
As usual, all plants out and all pebbles needs to make an exit too.. :(  About time I make improvement to my Aquaponics setting, as time goes I learn a lot but to make changes do takes time since its hard work.

What needed are.
  1. Additional Pebbles to make it 12" Growbed.
  2. Better Lumber support for above requirements.
  3. Siphon retrofit to smaller outer strainer having use the 32 ~ 25 mm reducer.
  4. Improve "Whistler" on the outlet
Its a bit hard work, but it worth it in the long run.
Since Asparagus need to be removed, above photo shows its roots.
A better close up of same.
Asparagus aside in this basin for the next few hours.
This was the old type of strainer, where there are holes even on top of the pipe. Later strainer I only do bottom 20 ~ 30% of it. More holes on the top is bad, roots invasion may occur.
I'm changing this to the smaller diameter strainer and inner bell will be 50mm/2" PVC pipe as above. Standpipe and strainer in place, waiting for sealant to dry.
Let's not forget the outlet, these can be taken as the rear end of this siphon. We tend to forget the rear it is just as important as the front, at time it may be more critical to have the rear install correctly.

These growbed was almost 2 years old and at that time I was still experimenting with my siphon to make it better. The outlet use was the "whistler" like the one here but not as polished as this. It was made after alteration after alteration and finally this above what I will use for my set up. These four growbed that I have, slowly I'm making a better siphon for it. 
Pebbles from the growbed, not enough more needed. These was from the time when I was experimenting with pebbles size. Those smaller aggregate are not suitable, on average I recommend 10 ~ 20 mm in size.
Pebbles in.
But its not enough, will get few more bags. Pebbles should reach at least vent cap lower height.
Got few bags of pebbles and all done, the Stevia plants in and Asparagus will be later this evening.
This growbed is next, the wooden support also showing sign that it would call it the day any time soon.
But its so much growth on it, that I am reluctant to do any thing to it.. I may have no choice but do it. 

Another thing about redoing growbed is, its best to do it one at a time over a period of time. This to prevent ammonia or nitrate spike since not many plant left to use it up.

Sweet Taste of Aquaponics - Stevia Rebaudiana

A good Article on Stevia : Here

Stevia rebaudiana is a plant that is very sweet, interesting to be tried on Aquaponics. It looks like many other soft stem plant and almost like the "Sambung Nyawa" so it can't be that difficult to try.

With some difficulties I manage to get hold few of these plant. Its in one of the nursery at Selangor Green Lane, Delima Tani is the plot name.
Its Lot 49 the first lot after Kota Damansara junction heading to Shah Alam, on the Shah Alam - Sg Buluh Road better known as Selangor Green Lane.
Google coordinate of Delima Tani : 3° 9'54.73"N  101°34'4.03"E
They have many plants and Stevia is one of those that is rare and can be found here.
I bought 3, these will  the base stock for my trial in doing this plant in Aquaponics.
Healthy looking plants, and about RM9.00 each, these are grown organically.
I will not transplant these to my Aquaponics bed, but I would do cuttings and try to propagate it this way.
Cutting taken about 4 inches and dip in rooting hormone to promote root growth
I only tried 2 cuttings, and will see whether it will grow.
The sun is on the extreme this next few months, so I made a temporary shade for these plant. A better shade need to be made real soon.
Stock plant, I place in Asparagus bed this to ensure it don't die off if maintain in those tiny pots.
Continue : Here

Just an Update - 7th May 2011

Its been slightly more than a month I trimmed this Kesum (Vietnamese Koriander) plant and this is what its at today, another week it will be ready for next harvest.

Doing this small time, I am assessing this plant how long it takes between harvest and how much we could get per harvest.
Keladi (Vegetable Yam) improving and new foliage sprouting out, anxious to see suckers coming out its base.
I'm putting Sambung Nyawa plants in between those yam just to give this growbed more plant mass to support. This is the growbed that I am testing the PET bottle siphon on a 20mm stand pipe siphon.

Shoots below is a good sign, and these are edible
Its been about 3 days after I transplant these Kunyit (Turmeric) and just my luck the sun coming on full force. I had to continuously run my water pump 24/7 for the first 2 days just to make sure this "new" growbed and the new transplanted kunyit not having any problem.
Its always a good sign to have few insects, this could be close relative of the fire fly. I don't know what it is, but insect of the non destructive variety is always welcome.
Below, outlet spout of the 20mm siphon with the PET bottle funnel, its working fine for the last couple of weeks. Just let it be no more tweak or adjustment to this siphon.
Q. What is a good siphon ?
A. A good siphon is when you forget that it exist.

Trimming The Bush

Not actually bushy, then again depend on how we define bush... Trimmed the Asparagus, don't ask me why.. just feel like it... well why not.
Don't know what I'm doing either, what I'm expecting is new foliage would grow from the trimmed cluster.
Its very thin, long way away from getting to pencil size edible Asparagus shoots. This is one growbed that I need to beef up to 12", should be good for this plant.
I have removed the 50% shades, may put it back up if sun back on full throttle, for now its gloomy most of the time. This time last year it was extreme heat, this year its gloomy. Ever since that Boxing day Tsunami the weather around here has change to the unexpected.
Okay, that was the bush above.