Diary of a Volunteer – Baptiste Grollier is down’t farm!

img_4046Here I am in Bristol, arrived on a Sunday 2 October 9, 2017 in the evening at the station of Bristol Temple Meads welcomed by Jacqui E. The next day I was able to quickly discover the city   : alive, rich and abundant activities. During the first week of my stay, I met the entire Bristol Fish Project (BFP) team.   : we have begun research with Daniel Nicholas on the project of production of black soldier flies intended for future eels present in the aquaponic circuit (under construction) . We have formatted the project in writing to give a first glimpse of its objectives   : bring different foods for fly larvae and compare the nutritional results of soldier fly larvae, the speed of larvae growth … or the goal is to provide the best food for eels on a small scale in the context of sustainable development. In this context, I am responsible in part for the production of black soldier fly (Black Soldier Fly) which will begin the week of Monday, September 13 with the arrival of the first fly larvae. The Bristol Fish Project is progressing with the entire team. Thursday night allows us to meet at the hangar to share and advance on projects until 9 pm. 

The days of the week are filled with visits   :

   Grow Bristol   “Hydroponics company BristolCenter that produces”   microgreens   For restaurants (mustard leaves, radishes, chickpeas …) and supermarkets with a hydroponic system.The company has already produced these  microgreens   In aquaponics with tilapia but did not have as good production results compared to the current hydroponic system.

This is the reason why the company stopped producing in aquaponics. The company wants to focus advantages on the production of  microgreens   “Rather than tilapia for several reasons   : there is sector market (restaurants, delivery to ‘   trunk bike   “Electric”), ease of production (it does not concern more fish ) , nutritive balance s more stable and therefore more efficient for the growth of plants. Grow Bristol works actively with computer scientists (optimizing production through automation) and in cooperation with BFP and the University of Bristol. I was able to attend and participate in the harvest that takes place every Tuesday .

Technical characteristics of the company / production   :

           Water   : pH of water ( hydroponic )   : 5. 5-5 .8 open watering 5 minutes per day only

           Lighting   : 14/24

           Air   : 18.5 ° C

           Harvest   and sale: 2 times / week, boxes of 20g and 40g for restaurants and a mix multi varieties + chickpea leaves in 75g box for supermarkets

Example of production of chickpeas   : Chickpeas put 24 hours in the water in the dark, taken out and put on support (composed of wool and recycled textiles   : durable) and moistened. It remains a week in the dark before lighting.

The main project of   Grow Bristol   “I n this time is to re c reate a fog on plants improve their growth time.

   Nibley leaves    is a cooperative gardening company on the outskirts of Bristol. Sam Rossiter is the owner of the farm. The company produces a variety of salad varieties for catering. The atmosphere is very nice, family. During my work day at Sam, I met French people who work and live in England. It’s really nice to talk in French abroad

The company produces salads all year long and makes one harvest a week. The non-esthetically presentable production in a restaurant is given to an association for modest meals.

Sam to a lot of project for the future   : he raises bees to make his honey, he wants to make an aquaponic greenhouse in a building that is currently used as a warehouse, he planted particularly resistant trees on the western side of the fields to protect themselves from the winds and also to replace those who threats to fall soon.

I thank everyone for having welcomed me on this day.

   Bioaqua Farm   “Aquaponics is a company in 30 minutes drive from Bristol. Antonio Paladino , chef cook, to create the company 6 years ago in the city of Pollbridge . He is one of the pioneers of commercial aquaponics in England. It produces , transforms (on site) and sells these processed products on the internet. It has managed to be economically profitable by multiplying the variety of these products   : Smoked trout, trout pâté, cookedsauces ues sells jars. He also does “   streetfood   “With these summer vegetables to reach customers in short circuit and make known aquaponics. I visited this company in early November so the aquaponic greenhouse is partially empty because the main production is in summer.

The aquaponic system was built entirely to measure. It is composed of   :

           Bins of clay balls for root plants that ‘   spread   »(Fennels, peppers, chilli u)

           Bins with «   rafts      : they are ponds of water or push it on a support floating in a permeable substratum (here, the support is composed of fibers of coconut   (recyclable)).

           6 basins of 200 liters with a density of 16-17kg / m3 on average. He has an average of 700 trout in the year

           35 watts / pond air pump (60L / min)

           pH   6.45

           Losses   : 7% including 4% mortalities and 3% sick

           filters   : gravity, MBR (membrane bioreactor ) , bio filter (clay beads)

In England, legislation (food standards agency) authorizes the transformation of the primary product in the producers (smoking, pâté, etc.) . Antonio considers that low cost technology in production is the future of market gardening compared to production with high production cost technologies.

The project of the company is to go from 6 to 10 tanks and to have 3 greenhouses instead of 2.

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