Bottle gourd on top of chicken enclosure

One of the bittle gourd plants in our aquaponic growbed made it onto the vegetable net spread ontop of the chicken enclosure.

Bottle gourd on top of chicken enclosure

I have posted about the three in one chicken enclosure earlier https://greens.farm/2015/10/12/three-in-one-chicken-fish-passion-fruit/

Bottle gourd

This was designed for passion fruit, but bottle gourd grows too long to hold between the vegetable net and the roof of the enclosure. So had to harvest it early.

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Down! :-(

We had the third chicken casualty in an year! Out of the five chicken we had in our rooftop enclosure we now have only two left :-(. Very very disappointed.
My wife usually is my biggest motivator in keeping the farm going during the busy schedule. Today after the chicken incident she asked, should we give away the rest of the chicken and may be even shut everything down for some time?

Hmmm… tough time. Yet to see how we take things forward from here.

Wishing for a greener 2016!

As we have just stepped into 2016, here is a quick review of how things went for our little roof top farm (greens.farm) in 2015 and what is in the pipeline for 2016.

We entered into 2015 with the objective of starting  two or three small organic farming projects, that will reduce our dependency on commercially farmed vegetables, and to share our experiments through social media in an effort to encourage those around us to practice a greener lifestyle.

When I look back into 2015, I think we achieved only 25% or less of what we hoped for, but we are very very happy that we never lost our passion and kept moving  through some of the tougher times and busy schedule. Even more importantly, we stay resolved to continue this journey through 2016 with bigger but practical goals.

In 2015, we experimented quite a bit on aquaponics and now we run three systems of different sizes. We have some creative designs on paper that evolved through from learnings, especially around building systems for longer term plants. We tried to start an organic farm in a small piece of land, which didn’t fly due to a number of reasons, the primary one being the difficulty in getting electricity connection. We also brought chickens to the homestead for eggs, and still learning through how to take care of them.

I am not an experienced blogger but tried to share what I could. I am very encouraged to see the broad viewership of greens.farm in 2015 that spanned over 55 countries.

In 2016, god willing, we hope to take a leap forward. We want to implement the new aquaponic designs we have on paper, increasing efficiency and reducing maintenance. We also want to run the system off of solar than the grid. We want to revive the earlier “soil based” 🙂 organic farm project using solar energy. We want to take the social media activities into another level by launching a new website and have more useful content and posts. On the community side, we hope to experiment with establishing a couple of neighbourhood groups that would farm vegetables in a coordinated and shared fashion so that each family can focus on two or three crops in their backyard or rooftop.

Well, that’s good for now. Welcome 2016! While the world is busy complaining about the big problems you are bringing forth, we are excited that you are here and we got a plan for you for solving some small problems…

Happy and greener 2016! 🙂

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Welcome 2016!

New members to the roof top farm

After a long wait we finally brought a few chickens home. We put them in the three in one chicken enclosure  (posted about this earlier) on our rooftop.

There are four Onagadori (three female and a male) and one Karim Kozhi (female). My good friend Jasid gave me these chickens from the farm that his father runs (Cichin Pets Farm).

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Onagadori Chickens

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Karim Kozhi chicken

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Onagadori (means long tail) is native to a place in Japan called Köchi (somewhat same name as my home town, Kochi). Hopefully chickens feel home! 😉

Karim Kozhi is a local verity that is totally black. Their eggs and meat are known to be having medicinal values.

All are young ones just started laying eggs. When we got home with the chickens a couple of days ago, there was an egg in the box! Karim Kozhi is on a roll! 🙂

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Three in one (Chicken, Fish, Passion fruit)

We had an old chicken enclosure on our rooftop where we used to raise Japanese Quail (Kada Kozhi) for eggs. Kids always loved their morning routine of going to the terrace.

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We modified the enclosure to have a fish tank under it by welding metallic sheets connecting the legs of the enclosure and putting plastic sheet inside it. This will hold about 500 litres of water and should support the new growbed I am designing. There is a metallic sheet below the enclosure to prevent chicken manure falling in to the tank.

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I was looking for ways to reduce heat in the chicken enclosure since it is kept openly on the terrace. So I got a frame added above the enclosure to grow passion fruit  (thanks for the idea Jasid!).

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It is going to take a while before the enclosure gets fully covered by the passion fruit plant, so I need a temporary arrangement to keep the heat low before I bring home our new addition to the roof top farm – the chicken! 🙂

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