Cute Eel video made by Bristol School!

#eelconservation #kidscreating #hydrocitizenship

We absolutely love this video -an animated journey into the hidden ecologies of the River Avon as told by the children of Victoria Park Primary School, Bristol, using their drawings, ideas and voices! Funded by the AHRC’s ‘Towards Hydrocitizenship’ project, and part of Water City Bristol, supported by the ‘Sustainable Eel Group (SEG)’. In association with NOVA, lead artists for Water City Bristol.

‘Protect The Eels’ is a film made by Pinch Me! Productions.

Project Diary

It’s a gentle day at the project. I like it when Sam and I get to work together, we are both… doers – makers – and today is one of those days. Sam picks me up on his way to the warehouse, and we head to Greens Horticulture for some advice on winch systems for our lighting rigs. We are in luck – as we often are when we visit Green’s. Matt has just the thing, and we can have it for free because it’s from an old display and all the winch strings are tied in knots! We buy coir for propagating some watercress for the big-rig – we can see that it will be ready soon and we will need some baby plants, and Matt recommends some organic nutrient to give the baby plants a little boost once their seeds initial nutrient has been consumed. We swing by the supermarket and I buy big bags of chopped vegetables for meals for our volunteer workdays. We eat together after working on the project on Thursday nights and Sundays and I want to make sure there is something fast and healthy we can share.

Today we decide to work more on the IBC scale eel system as it is here that we will be receiving our eels in February.WhatsApp Image 2018-01-23 at 22.57.34

Last Friday, whilst I was in London visiting Paul Bavister at Flanagan Lawrence to talk about our modular concept system, Sam and Tom worked on further testing u-siphons as an option for draining the flood & drain system. Today we get it to fire as a working system. Then we build a sort of rigging for our lighting system.

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It’s a good size as it is roughly speaking half the length of 1 of our big-rig bays. Which means we can test out the efficacy of our lighting array (spacing, height etc).

The rest of the week is looking exciting.

Thursday Jon the electrician is coming to help us set up lighting in our classroom. Plus Alan from Big Issue Invest is coming over to talk to us about our bridging loan request. Fingers crossed they can support us in this endeavour!

Friday Tom and Sam and I will complete the IBC build and get that cycling. Plus there is a lot of admin to do. I plan to apply for funding to pilot the module and I need to begin making preparations for our eel project launch on March 12th!

Sunday we are having a workday (if you fancy helping out you can sign-up here). The main job will be to start setting up our propagation area for the big-rig and to clear some of the drains that are full of autumn leaves in the Garden.



Aquaponics Concept Shortlisted at 2017 World Architecture Festival

Our proposal for a modular aquaponic urban farm was shortlisted at the World Architecture Festival 2017, which took place in November. The project is a research collaboration between Flanagan Lawrence Architects, the British Aquaponic Association (BAQUA), the Bristol Fish Project, and Expedition (as part of the Useful Simple Trust’s work on the circular economy). The vertical modular farm is designed to make use of available growing space on the south facades of large urban sheds, to be built from reused steel elements and involves a number of closed-loop principles: between fish and plants, and turning foodwaste into sustainable fish feed.

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Designs for Module build

Sam and Alice sat down to discuss what happens next to the pallet-racking and recycled materials based aquaponics module that they’ve been building. The rack is up, boxes have been built using recycled scaffold planks. Butyl lining which we ordered cut to size is waiting to be affixed. Fish tank and sumps are standing by. Big pumps are on the lab table. The electronics have been installed. The controllers for T5 arrays are waiting to be pinned to the bays…. but we can’t make the next move until we know exactly where we want holes for the plumbing to go! So – to the drawing board!

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.

Black soldier fly research begins.

Whilst Baptiste and Dan are going to share a report on their research soon, I just want to share photos from tonight’s work -evening – the completion of the black soldier fly lab, the allocating of feed inputs and the addition of tiny fly larvae to the mix!

Black soldier fly research and tomorrow’s work evening

Baptiste and Alice spent the visiting Antonio at BioAqua Farm then the rest of the day involved picking up all kinds of things for the black soldier fly trials beginning next week! Special thanks to Matter Wholefoods for their precious food waste, New Bristol Brewery for their spent grain and fingers crossed for bread from the Old Market Bakery! 

We are all set then for tomorrow’s workday where we will build an insulated box for flyopolis, the mile fly club will be opened to minute guests and the crayfish aquaponics will get planted! We start at 18:30 – look forward to seeing you here!

Black Soldier Fly Trial Planning day

We are very excited that Baptiste as part of his ‘stage’ (sort of a work-experience / internship) will be able to run our latest black soldier fly pilot – as imagined by volunteer and ecologist Dan. The plan is to test the grow out and response of BSF on a series of single issue urban waste streams… and to test the resulting larvae for basic protein levels. We will also hope to have a go at freeze drying, grinding and alginating. We will be visiting our local brewer, baker and cafe to see what they can give us 🙂 – Today Baptiste and Dan draw up their plans – which are made slightly easier by not having to deal with the reproduction side of the fly’s life cycle. WhatsApp Image 2017-11-01 at 12.00.43.jpeg


This week down’t farm

Exciting times as we edge towards telling you all some big news – hard to keep a lid on it! Hopefully we can let the cat out the bag next week! In the meanwhile, we are really happy to have a new Intern – food ok France – Baptiste, for a month. Our rescued crayfish seem happy – we made them a pretty tight system (see photo). Thursday night’s work-evening we will gather to make progress on our black soldier fly research led by Dan and Rose. Let us know if you are coming to lend a hand – as we will cook for everyone. 

South Bristol Sensory Gardens Adventures


We absolutely love having South Bristol Sensory Gardens on our 1 Vale Lane site. This week has been really exciting for the project. When Bristol based usines canopy and stars dismantled their crane treehouse, they offered the gardens their planters – brimming with herbs, flowers and grasses – to provide sensory delights for the community! Plus Ana one of the lead volunteers at the garden who just happens to be a graphic and UX designer has been testing a logo – what do you think? Here’s a little slide show of the pick-up efforts! JK and Lucy extend thanks to Chris, Jo, Annelies, Alice (thats me yayyyy) and Ana of course for pulling together to get this done!

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Great workday guys!

Some photos from today when we cleaned and sterilised our system after the pilot to prepare for the next installation of the course when we will put another ibc system into action together! Great work from our lovely team of volunteers! Also so many worms! A good sign of the health of the media beds!