Aquaponics – first harvest of fish (Tilapia)

It’s getting close to two years since we had our first batch of fish in the aquaponics tank. But we never harvested any fish mainly because kids weren’t too favorable to this idea, although I always wanted to complete the farming cycle 🙂 

Over the last few days we had been working on cleaning and rearranging the tanks and growbeds, which I can summarize in one word as “messy” 🙂 Some of the older fish have grown really big and tanks are now over crowded. Unless we start harvesting now, we will soon be losing fish due to water quality issues. Infact, I lost a two year old karimeen (pearlspot) a few weeks ago.

Tilapia harvested from Aquaponics

So today we harvested one tilapia from the first batch. It weighs just over 1 KG (2 lb). I am not telling the kids where this fish came from for a few days 😉 
We bought the first batch of teeny-weeny fingerlings from a hatchery in early 2015.

With this harvest, although it took a little too long, the Aquaponics farming cycle is now complete 🙂

Bottle gourd seed saving 

We let one bottle gourd to stay on the plant for a couple more months for collecting seeds. Naturally all vegetables would start to get rot if we leave it on the plant for too long, but interestingly enough bottle gourd can stay around for quite a while. We then harvested it and kept in kitchen for a couple of weeks but it continued to look as fresh as it ever was!

Finally we cut it open and we were amazed to see over a thousand seeds in one bottle gourd! Hah! May be we should start selling seeds! 🙂

Bottle gourd is very soft inside, but as it grows old it becomes more like a harder outer cover with seeds inside, more like seeds kept in a bottle. A friend of mine told me that in the old times people dry bottle gourd and the outer shell is used as a container! May be that’s where this name comes from. I thought I should test it and my bottle gourd shell now is having its good time under the sun, tanning 🙂

Bottle gourd – sun drying outer shell & seeds

Bottle gourd seeds

Aquaponics – First harvest of Winter Melon / Kumbalanga

Winter Melon plant was slow to grow on aquaponics, but the wait was worth it!

We just harvested the first fruit today, may be a bit prematurely. But we didn’t want to wait too long since this is the first one. It weighs about 3.5kg (7lb), which is not unusual for winter gourd. There are a few more on the plant that we hope will grow a bigger.

Winter Gourd / Winter Melon / Kumbalanga grown in aquaponics (3.5kg / 7lb)

Our bottle gourd plant is almost dead and I just harvested the one we kept on the plant to extract seeds. Our rooftop still stays a mess where all my systems need overhauling. Will do that as soon as we harvest all winter melons that we can get 🙂
Will update more frequently as soon as things get back on track.

Today’s harvest – Bottle gourd and Winter Melon (Churakka and Kumbalanga)