We believe that our body, created in His Divine image, reflects everything we put into it. There is a clear connection between your health and your diet, and fostering that connection is what Galiso Gardens is all about.
It is important what we eat and drink and learning to produce a quantity of high quality healthy food is a worthwhile endeavor that we are learning and hope to help others learn.
Once we are successful in producing a quantity of quality food – we want to see if there is a product that we can share that is not currently available or not economically available.
Through Aquaponics, vermiponics, and sustain-a-culture, we feel we can achieve this goal. Our vision is to utilize, but not limit ourselves to, all of these cultures.
Permaculture is not permanent - everlasting life in Christ is and helping people understand what His terms are to receive it. There are many gospels but only one real one and I hope that through the grace of Christ, we communicate it in our efforts.
We are coining a new word; Sustain-A-Culture. As we said permaculture is not permanent but its design concepts work. Sustainable gardening is balancing basic human needs without destroying what God has given us. Combining them we can design a balanced, healthy growing environment.
Aquaponics is an alliance! It is a food production system that combines conventional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as fish in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water, not soil) into a symbiotic environment. Fish create waste which creates ammonia. Bacteria turns the ammonia into nitrite then into nitrate. As the water flows over the plants roots they absorb the nitrate. The water gets filtered through the roots and media and returns to the tank. If there are worms in the system the waste from the worms is available to the plants immediately. Flora and fauna live together and benefit each other, just as it does in nature.
Vermiculture, or worm farming, is a simple way of turning table scraps into compost while producing fish bait. Vermiculure operations can range from a small bin maintained by apartment dwellers to large-scale worm farms. Worm castings, or the products of worm's digestion, are so highly prized as a soil amendment and fertilizer that some worm farms are run primarily for the castings and not for the worms themselves. This process is called vermicomposting.
Sustain-A-Culture is a totally integrated design system that's modeled on nature. If you design your garden or farm like a natural system you can save yourself a lot of work, save energy, and eliminate waste. Think about it, nobody digs and sows, plants and weeds, or sprays bugs in a forest. Still, all those chores are taken care of somehow. The forest grows and feeds its inhabitants, doesn't it?
Our first adventure into soilless growing was barley grass in a continuous flow recirculation system. It was a success but after a few times we started having problems with mold. We moved the whole system outside in the summer of 2015. We have had great harvests without mold. One important factor to us is vertical growing. That is why we have concentrated on vertical systems. Our first Aquaponic system was a 300 gallon stock tank. We made 8 towers out of 4” PVC. Our media was clay beads. Each tower had 30 planting spots. We had a very nice size lettuce harvest that year. Kale and Swiss chard also did great. Koi and goldfish were our fish of choice. They are both very hardy and easy to take care of. After the first year we switch all the towers over to 6” PVC. We replaced the clay beads with filter brushes. Kale and Swiss chard still grew the best but we also had success with oregano. The pH stayed at about 7.6 the 2 years we ran this system. Our next system was a 120 gallon stock tank with 4 6” towers. Each tower had 20 grow spots. The pH in this system kept dropping below a 6 so we had to add stabilizer weekly. This system also grew Kale and Swiss chard well but what was so impressive was the pepper plant (could almost call it a tree) that grew and produced peppers for over a year and a half. We gave this system to the local FFA and the pepper plant is now 2 years old and still producing. We now have the Aqua Planter. It is a 100 gallon stock tank with 24 planting spaces. For more information on the Aqua Planter see the products page.
In October 2013 we put peat moss, leaves and 2000 worms in 2 27 gallon totes to start worm bins. It was a slow start. We fed them too much kitchen veggie scraps which caused the bins to be anaerobic. Once we got the food balanced out they really took off. We bought another 2000 worms December and started 2 more bins. We decided to experiment for the summer of 2014 and put all the worms in a 300 gallon stock tank outside. We also started a wellness program here at Galiso that summer. We make fresh juice every morning and the pulp goes into the worm bins. We were amazed at how fast they multiplied and how big they were. There were enough worms to put them in our outdoor garden, Aquaponic systems, garden towers, and wicking beds. We had enough worms to start 6 bins inside during our second winter. In the summer of 2015 we started 4 outside worm bins and are experimenting with small 3-5 gallon buckets. The castings go to starting seedlings and filling our vertical planters.
For 3 years we have been collecting leaves. Every year we collect bagged leaves people leave out on the sidewalk from around our city. The first year we made the mistake of letting the leaves stay in the bags too long and they went anaerobic. The next year we shredded all the leaves. We now just use them whole. They cover our whole field. We use wood chips as a cover. Our soil is mostly clay. We are trying a no till approach. We built a portable chicken coop (chicken tractor) and allowed our chickens to scratch the ground from spring through fall. In the summer of 2014 we had a small garden. We used mushroom compost, leaves, and covered it in wood chips. We had great success with zucchini and spaghetti squash. This year we started 4 worm bins outside. We use leaves, spent grains, garden scraps, kitchen veggie scraps, horse manure, juicing pulp, coffee, chicken waste, and aged straw.