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First Pregnancy Report
9/9/2008 6:10:00 PM

I realize that I've been unusally quiet in the past few months.  Things have changed in our lives quite a bit.   The rapid growth of the photography business leaves me with very little free time.  I often find myself working late into the night, as I want to maintain a very high standard of quality.  Needless to say, it's had quite an impact on my ability to pursue other projects; like maintaining the site.

However, we have an announcement to make... Wick is pregnant.  It's been a tough few years, but we're confirmed as pregnant at this point.  What's more, it's not just single-pregnant.  We're double-pregnant.  Twins.  Two of them.  More than one.

This is our first ultrasound.  I'm far from an expert at reading these things, but even I'm cable of counting the dots.  There seems to be some debate as to the correct pluralization.  Fetuses seems more popular.  Feti seems more based in the Latin roots.  Grammar aside, there are two babies cooking.

I've posted higher resolution scans in the family photo gallery.

BabiesFirstUltrasound.jpg

July 2008 Followup
7/19/2008 9:34:00 AM

I realize that I have not posted updates to the site in what seems an eternity.  I've been distraced by my many side projects, and have been unable to devote much time to Barnyard.  Most of this is due to the recent demands of the photography business.  We've become much more successful that I originally anticipated.  It's taking more time than I expected, and we're growing more quickly than I imagined.

Additionally, Jessawick and I have celebrated our third anniversary.  My family has an interesting tradition, which was continued this year...

At our wedding, the cake was really, really good.  In fact, it was so good that the entire cake was demolished before we got very much of it.  For our first anniversary, my mother got the idea to get us a baby-sized version of the original.  Ever since, it's been tradition.  Here's this year's installment:

AnniversaryCake.jpg

Secondarily... We went to Red Square for our anniversary.  Red Square is easily the best restaurant that we've ever visited.  We've been there twice, and each time the experience was impeccable.  I can't say enough nice about them.

Our Experiences with Reproductive Associates of Delaware
3/12/2008 11:48:00 PM

As some of you may know, we've been seeing a fertility specialist for the last few months, as pregnancy has mysteriously eluded us.  Our regular doctor, Molly McBride has always treated us well.  Molly is excellent at what she does, and we can only give positive feedback about our treatment by both her, and her practice "The Womens' Place".  They're good people.  Additionally, Molly really did an excellent job on the outpatient surgery that Jessawick needed (a few months ago).

A few months ago, Molly realized that our complications might be beyond the scope of her practice (she's an OB/GYN, not a fertility specialist), and she referred us to the Reproductive Associates of Delaware.  We've been seeing them for a few months now, with limited success.

A few weeks ago, we received a letter from the Reproductive Associates of Delaware regarding a dispute with Delaware Blue Cross.  The letter advised us that they may discontinue accepting Delaware Blue Cross (our medical insurance) within a few months.  I can't speak for anyone beyond ourselves, but continuity is an important part of fertility care.  Should Jessawick become pregnant, we're going to need continuing follow up care.  Since the possibility existed that they would abandon our medical insurance, we were forced to seek out another doctor.

We've just had our first visit with the new doctor (Dr. Jefferey Russell).  It was quite informative.  He told us about new techniques that will really get us some answers.  He was both a great comfort and great help.  We're looking forward to working with him, and it's looking like we'll finally get some success.  He has a systematic plan for us, which should give us an answer in the near term.  Additionally, he provided some insights that (in retrospect) are quite obvious, but had not previously come to light.  Additionally, he told us in no uncertain terms, that he is not quarreling with Blue Cross Delaware.  That's a relief.

It was a stark contrast with the previous care we received.   This made me realize a few things about our previous treatment at Reproductive Associates of Delaware...

I don't specifically fault our doctor at Reproductive Associates of Delaware.  However, I do place much of the fault on the office staff.  The front desk was consistently rude, and was rarely attentive to our concerns.  During our entire time with Reproductive Associates of Delaware, we didn't receive any real answers.  We had a ton of testing performed, but all the results were "normal".  In retrospect, I've started to think that many of the tests may not have been as necessary as I originally believed.  We got lots of testing (and lots of costly office visits), but really didn't get any answers.  On the whole, I cannot recommend Reproductive Associates of Delaware.  I hope that our case is unique, but I have doubts.

05/16/2008 Followup: 

Since we've switched to Dr. Jefferey Russell, we've had a great breakthrough.  He performed a surgery which he initially beleived to be exploratory... However, it turned to be much more.  It turns out that Jessawick's fallopian tubes weren't in the correct "position" for the egg to travel properly.  He performed a quick repair during the surgery, and we should be able to conceive pretty soon.

This has just driven home the point about Reproductive Associates of Delaware... I feel that they were taking the shortest path directly to IVF, rather than providing the best path for conception.  We've got nothing but praise for Dr. Jefferey Russell.  If you're in Delaware, we'd recommend looking him up.  Once Jessawick is fully healed-up, we'll start a new cycle.

Credit Card Fraud - TWX*IIA AIM CALL OUT
2/28/2008 4:09:00 PM

For the first time in my life, I've had to cancel a credit card.  I've always been quite careful with my privacy, and I've never had a problem in the past.  Today I noticed a transaction on my credit card from "TWX*IIA AIM CALL OUT". I didn't recognize it.  I decided to call my credit card provider (Chase) to see if they had any additional information.  The team at Chase was quite helpful.  They told me that TWX is affiliated with AOL.  Apparently they deal in magazines and internet phone services.  As far as I'm concerned, it's all a scam.

Strangely enough, the team from Chase also told me that I had pending charges from iTunes.  That's interesting, as I don't use iTunes.  One charge could be a coincidence, two is fraud.

The gracious folks at Chase cancelled my card, and a new one is on the way.  I'm just posting this in the hopes that Google will index it, and it might be of help to someone else. 

Happy Birthday Faraday
2/27/2008 7:11:00 AM

Our little girl has just turned two years old.  She's such a nice little wiener-dog.  Here's her birthday photo (she was sitting in Jessawick's knitting basket):

FaradayBirthday2008.jpg

If anyone is interested, we adoped Faraday from HamDachs.  They're a family that raises mini dachshunds out in Illinois. They really did a good job with Faraday.  You can really tell when a dog has been handled and treated well as a puppy.  When she came to us, she was very friendly and not afraid of anything.  For the record, she's still not afraid of anything.  She's a big important little wiener dog, and she knows it.

Delaware Conceal and Carry Laws
2/16/2008 5:42:00 PM

I'm in the middle applying for my Delaware Conceal and Carry License (concealed firearms license).  Since laws regarding concealed weapons can vary wildly between states, I wanted to do my homework before actually starting to carry.

I got a lot of conflicting information from many sources.  A particular point of concern was the "School Zone" question.  I had been told by several people (including my CCW instructor) that you were forbidden to carry a concealed weapon within 1000 feet of a school or college.  Needless to say, this concerned me quite a bit.  I live within 1000 feet of a school. I also work within 1000 feet of a school.  This "law" could put a severe cramp in my right to carry.

I started researching.  I am not a lawyer.  This does not constitute legal advice.

Here's what I've found:

  • There's a federal law, called the Gun Free School Zone Act of 1990.  It has important exceptions built into it.  It does not apply to private property within the "radius".  Additionally, it provides a special exception for anyone with a "state issued permit".  This means that Delaware CCW holders are except.  This becomes important later.
  • There is a Delaware law, Possession of a weapon in a Safe School and Recreation Zone.  This law doesn't really introduce any new restrictions.  It just "amps up" the severity of the punishment, should you be convicted of another crime while on school grounds.  For example, the regular charge of Carrying a concealed deadly weapon "upgrades" from a class G felony to a class E felony.

My analysis:

If you have a Delaware (or Delaware-recognized) CCW permit, you can carry within the 1000 foot perimeter.  In fact, if you happen to be a college student (that happens to be of age to acquire a CCW) you could even legally carry on campus.  Furthermore, from my reading of the law, a teacher could legally carry while at work.

However:

Just because these are established as legal, that doesn't mean that it's permissible by the entity in question.  For example, the University of Delaware has a policy against weapons.  Legally speaking, they can expel / fire you.  That's their call.  It's their house and their rules.  However, that's a private matter.  It's not a crime.

The same is true of the teacher's example.  The hypothetical teacher could be fired for breaking policy, but not arrested.

Remember, this is a strict legal interpretation.  There are lots of "dumb" situations that you could cause, if you aren't careful.  Even with a CCW permit, you can't brandish your weapon.  Intimidation is still legally menacing.  Keep it legal; keep it concealed.

Final thoughts:

This isn't just my interpretation.  I've had two other individuals review my research.  Both of them agreed with my interpretation.  Both also commented on "keeping it out of sight", in order to avoid a menacing charge.

Both have requested that I not publish their names, as they don't want any liability pointed in their direction.  That's probably wise on their part.  Regardless, if either of you two are reading this: thanks for your help.

For that matter, I don't want any liability in my direction either.  This isn't legal advice, just my opinion on the law as it is written. 

If you would like more information about conceal and carry laws (in relation to colleges / universities), I recommend you check out Concealed Campus.  Concealed Campus is anon-profit "student's right to carry" advocacy group.

I hope this helps.

Happy Valentine's Day
2/14/2008 6:09:00 PM

Normally, I'm not one to endorse Hallmark-promoted holidays.  However, my dear Jessawick sent me a greeting card that warranted sharing.  It's the first Chamelo-gram that I've ever received:

ValentineChameleon.jpg

Happy Valentines Day, everyone. 

New Castle County Jury Duty 2008: Time Served
1/17/2008 8:49:00 AM

My recent experience with jury duty in New Castle County has come to a close.  Although I didn't get a chance to do very much, I learned a lot about the process.  For those of you living in New Castle County, Delaware, here is an overview of the jury duty process:

  • You receive a sternly-worded notice in the mail.  This notice contains a demand that you report and a questionnaire about your background.
  • Next, you are expected to reply with the questionnaire.  Optionally, you are able to cite reasons why you are unable to attend.
  • If you elected to cite reasons for being unable to attend, you should expect a strongly-worded "REQUEST DENIED" postcard to arrive in about 7 days.  The county makes it very clear that they place no value on your time whatsoever; and that "they" get to call the shots.
  • On the day of your service, you report to the courthouse.  Generally, you are to report at 8:30 AM.  I'd recommend arriving at the parking garage around 8:00 AM.  Expect traffic, as it's in the center of the city.
  • Expect to go through the intrusive "security" screening.  Remember to leave you cell phone in the car.  Additionally, the court prohibits PDA's, iPods, and nearly anything electronic that isn't a laptop.
  • Next, you will check in at "Suite 1800", the jury duty "holding tank".  It's a big room which seats at least 300 people.
  • Shortly after check-in, you'll be shown a movie about how lucky you were to be chosen.
  • Now you wait.  I hope you remembered to bring a book (or perhaps a laptop).  No internet access is available for laptops, but there are a few heavily-restricted web terminals in the side room.  There are five of them.  You may have trouble securing one.  Note:  This room also contains more comfortable chairs than anywhere else in the courthouse.
  • It's possible that you may be called to audition for a jury, but the odds aren't very good.  In our group of about 200, only about 40 were called to even audition.  Most of us just sat around until the trials concluded.

I apologize if I sound critical of the experience.  Truthfully, I have no objections to serving on a jury.  However, I do have objections to how the process is administered.  It seems very silly to me that of 32 scheduled jury cases on 01/16/2008, only a single case required a jury.  This could easily have been settled without requiring 200 people to lose a day of work.  Additionally, the court really needs to learn some manners.  I would have been in a much more favorable mood, had I not been treated like a criminal at every step.

Regardless, I'm off the hook for at least two years.  Behold my glorious certificate:

JuryDutyCertificate.jpg

Official Debut of HydroponicsTuesday.com
1/1/2008 8:38:00 AM

It's been a long time in development, but I'm proud to announce that Hydroponics Tuesday has finally moved into it's new home.  For those of you that have read the Hydroponics Tuesday column on BarnyardBBS, you'll now find that Hydroponics Tuesday has grown up, and has a dedicate website of it's own... HydroponicsTuesday.com.

The new dedicated website offers new opportunities for the column to grow, and to explore new directions.  For example, the new website features some new sections, like articles and reviews.  I realized a few months ago that with the recent growth in readership, Hydroponics Tuesday needed to expand beyond a weekly column.  The new sections of the website will let us share more detailed writeups on specific topics, which can be more easily navigated.  Many of the topics in the articles have been mentioned previously in the blog, but serve a common interest by being expanded into full articles.

I'm writing more frequently now, and more content will be appearing often. 

This will be the last post that is carried on BarnyardBBS.com.  From now forward, all new material will be posted directly to our new home at HydroponicsTuesday.com.

Ok, now to cover some actual news about my pet projects...

The experimental homemade aeroponic unit has been running "wet" for about two weeks now.  She's perfectly watertight.  We've just waiting on the new eggplants to mature enough to join the party.

At this point, I'm pretty happy with the stage of the new aeroponic unit.  However, only time will tell.

Additionally, we have two new additions to the growing room, they just aren't set up yet.  I gave Jess a new EcoGrower for Christmas, as she wanted to try a drip system.  She also got a drip-ring WaterFarm, which we're thinking about using for a pomegranate tree (don't ask which variety yet, we're still researching).

Actually, I'm looking forward to using the EcoGrower for an experiment.  I'd like to do a head-to-head competition between a drip system and an aeroponic system.  Although I'm quite sure that the aeroponic system produces faster growth, I'd like some objective evidence to support my opinion.  We're growing two "Black Beauty" eggplant seedlings; hopefully they'll be a fair comparison.

Here's a photo of the new batch of strawberries.  They've just emerged as sproutlings.  They're living in the MegaGarden, and they'll remain there for a while.  For those of you not familiar with our growing setup:  We use an Ebb & Flow system called a MegaGarden as our "nursery" for baby plants.  It's lighted by a 125W Compact Fluorescent system, and the nutrient mix is formulated for vegetative-stage plants.  When the plants are mature enough, they're moved out of the MegaGarden, into their final homes. 

Hydro-2008-01-01b.jpg

Also, here's a photo of the baby eggplants that have recently emerged.  They're living in the MegaGarden as well.

Hydro-2008-01-01c.jpg

This week's overview photo:

Hydro-2008-01-01a.jpg

PlantTypeStatus
#01Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesSmall fruit and flowers are appearing regularly.
#02Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesSmall fruit and flowers are appearing regularly.
#03Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesSmall fruit and flowers are appearing regularly.  
#04Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesSmall fruit and flowers are appearing regularly. 
#05Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesSmall fruit and flowers are appearing regularly.
#06Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesSmall fruit and flowers are appearing regularly. 
#07Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesSmall fruit and flowers are appearing regularly. 
#08Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesSmall fruit and flowers are appearing regularly.
#09Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesThis fellow is always partially covered by the eggplant, and is not as large as the other strawberries.
#12Bambino Baby EggplantLots of flowers and fruit. We're regularly getting fruit and frequently trimming back the leaves in order to give the strawberries more light.
#18Black Beauty Eggplant
Recently emerged as seedling.  Appears healthy.  Living in the MegaGarden.
#19Black Beauty EggplantRecently emerged as seedling.  Appears healthy.  Living in the MegaGarden.
#20Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRecently emerged as seedling.  Appears healthy.  Living in the MegaGarden.
#21Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRecently emerged as seedling.  Appears healthy.  Living in the MegaGarden.
#22Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRecently emerged as seedling.  Appears healthy.  Living in the MegaGarden.
#23Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRecently emerged as seedling.  Appears healthy.  Living in the MegaGarden.
#24Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRecently emerged as seedling.  Appears healthy.  Living in the MegaGarden.
#25Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesRecently emerged as seedling.  Appears healthy.  Living in the MegaGarden.
Hydroponics Tuesday: Building Your Own Aeroponic System, Attempt #1
12/18/2007 6:33:00 PM

I've been thinking about building an aeroponic system from scratch for a while, and this week I gave it a first attempt. 

The garden has been largely dominated by the massive eggplant lately.  The eggplant itself is quite healthy, but it's a bad neighbor to everything else in the TurboGarden.  It's simultaneously crowding it's neighbors and shading them under it's large canopy.

As far as I've researched, nobody is producing a single-site aeroponic unit.  I thought it was time to make one.

I spend a long time thinking about how to assemble an aeroponic unit from scratch... I came to a few basic parts that would be necessary, then expanded on the idea:

  • A reservoir is needed for the water.  The reservoir should be some type of opaque material, to prevent algae growth.  Ideally, the reservoir should be easy to monitor and service.
  • In order to be an aeroponic system, you need to have sprayers.  These sprayers need to take water from the reservoir and deliver it to the roots of the plant.
  • The plant needs to be supported, and it needs to be kept safe from damage during water changes and maintenance. 

I started looking for my reservoir first.  I considered lots of containers, from the simple Home Depot bucket to more exotic containers.  I ended up choosing a dog-food container.  Take a look at the photo below, and I'll start to explain why I decided on it.

Hydro-2007-12-15j.jpg

I found a 40-pound size Vittles Vault, made by Gamma Plastics.  It's intended to be an air-tight container for pet foods, but I had other ideas in mind.  I liked the large water-tight door, the generous capacity for water, and the flat top of the container.  It's naturally good at holding water, and is not prone to leaks.

You're probably noticing that there's a bucket on top... That's intentional.  I decided to separate the reservoir from the plant's "chamber".  The bucket has been fitted to hold a 6" net pot.  The plant lives entirely in the bucket.  Since the reservoir can be seperated from the bucket easily, I can clean the reservoir without disturbing the delicate roots.

How are they connected?  Well, I wanted to make a system with as few points of failure as possible.  Water likes to obey gravity, so in the chance of total failure, the water can fall safely back into the reservoir.  It's the path of least resistance.

The bucket has a hole drilled through the bottom.  The reservoir has a matching hole drilled through the top.  Take a look, and it will make more sense:

Hydro-2007-12-15k.jpg

That's actually a "through-hull" fitting, it's used in boating.  It's a sealed "pass through" that leads directly down into the reservoir.  This serves as our water-return.  The holes in both the reservoir and the bucket were drawn using a simple compass, and were rough-cut using a Dremel tool.  They were then sanded using a small drum-sander to achieve proper size and roundness.

Once the unit was dry-fit properly, I sealed the "through-hull" fitting with aquarium sealant, to ensure that it was totally water-tight. 

The lid of the bucket has been cut to accommodate a large (6") net pot.  The lid supports the weight of the plant, and the roots are able to hang freely inside the bucket.  Here's a top view of the bucket's lit (and pot) for perspective:

Hydro-2007-12-15l.jpg

Before we continue with construction, let's stop and talk about aeroponics for a moment.  Aeroponics describes a special breed of hydroponics, where the roots of a plant are sprayed with an aerated nutrient solution.  To make a spray, we force water through small jets.  Luckily, these jets are pretty easy to obtain.  I bought a handful of them at my local hydroponics shop.  In case you don't have access quite as readily as I do, here's a link where you can buy them (please note, I have not done business with this merchant, and as such, cannot make any promises).

The small microjets are threaded, and usually screwed directly into PVC fittings of your choosing.  Since nobody online seemed to know quite what size they are, here's the final answer: The microjets are threaded to fit a 10-32 machine thread hole.  It's easy to make them fit into PVC.  Simply drill a hole of appropriate size, then cut the threads with a 10-32 tap.  10-32 is a standard size (it's the fine-thread version of a #10 machine screw).  You should be able to buy a 10-32 tap quite inexpensively at nearly any hardware store.  Personally, I really like the Craftsman TapDriver.  It's a screwdriver-shaped handle that stores taps internally.  It's very convenient.  Sadly, Sears does not have a good photo on the website, so I've got no link to share.

You're able to construct the supply lines for the microjets by simply using 1/2" PVC and fittings.  It's easy to cut and glue PVC, and it doesn't require a lot of special tools.

Now that we know how we intend to supply the water; we need to know how we're going to get it there... We need a pump.

Here's an important advisory for you about pumps.  Don't just think you can buy an off-the-shelf aquarium pump.  I tried that.  It didn't work.

Hydro-2007-12-15e.jpg

Although these pumps look convenient, they lack sufficient power to make the jets work.  A crappy pump will make your jets "dribble".  You'll need a proper pump to get them to the critical pressure.

After some searching and testing, I wholeheartedly recommend an ActiveAqua PU250.  The ActiveAqua brand is represented by Hydrofarm, and their pumps are just what you need.  Shockingly, the ActiveAqua pump actually cost me less than the far-inferior pet-store variety.

Hydro-2007-12-15f.jpg

Speaking of pumps, the ActiveAqua PU 250 (and larger) pumps offer an important and convenient feature.  They have a pipe-thread connection to the pump.  Many brands of pump simply have a tubing "slip fit" connection.  I don't like "slip fit".  It's not strong, and it's not reliable.  Threaded connections are much stronger, and they'll make your life a lot easier.  In this case, the PU250 has a 1/2" pipe thread connection for the "outbound" water.  Here's a photo with the thread visible:

Hydro-2007-12-15g.jpg

Ok... Now we've got all the ingredients together... Let's make it work.

I wanted as simple a connection as possible, so I got an idea early in the project:  If I made the "return hole" in the bucket large enough, I could pass the supply line for the jets through the middle of it (meaning that I only have one hole to worry about instead of two).  This leads me to my sprayer system.

Hydro-2007-12-15h.jpg

It's a very simple setup.  The pump shoots the water straight up a length of PVC pipe.  This pipe is capped at the top, and the only way for the water to escape is through three microjets at the top.  Here's a closeup of the jets at the top of the pipe:

Hydro-2007-12-15i.jpg

The cap is just a regular 1/2" PVC cap.  It's been drilled and threaded for three 10-32 sprayers, which screw into it nicely.  The PVC cap is solvent-wended to the pipe to prevent leaks.

The pump rests inside the reservoir, with the sprayer-pipe extending vertically.  The sprayer-pipe travels through the large "through-hull" fitting that connect the bucket and reservoir, and stops just below the plant's basket.  Here's a photo of the whole thing assembled:

Hydro-2007-12-15a.jpg

Also, just so you can see it from the top, here's another angle:

Hydro-2007-12-15b.jpg

I like this design a lot, as it's pretty simple.  The water shoots out of the sprayers, and is carried back to the reservoir by gravity.  The pump is always sitting in water.  The whole system is designed to be as leak-resistant as possible, while allowing for easy cleaning.

The big "door" on the reservoir allows for easy access when you're testing and adjusting your water.  Additionally, you can completely disconnect the bucket from the reservoir, should you want to do more extensive cleaning.  Since the plant never leaves the bucket, it's always shielded from damage and accidents.

Hydro-2007-12-15c.jpg

The last part of the project was allowing the pump's cord to exit the reservoir.  I put the hole both as high as possible and as far from the the "return" as possible, to minimize leak concerns.  It's pretty simple.  I drilled a 1" hole through the reservoir using a hole-saw, and fitted it with a large electrical grommet for a finished look.

Here's a rough estimate of the costs involved in building this aeroponic system:

  • Small bucket and lid, $4
  • Gamma Vittles Vault, $35
  • ActiveAqua PU250 Pump, $15
  • 1 1/2" through-hull fitting, $7
  • Microjets, $2
  • 6" net pot, $1
  • PVC pipe and fittings, $3

Total materials cost: Roughly $67.  That's not bad, based on the costs of commercial units.  I bought all the parts for this project locally,.  The bucket and PVC were from Home Depot. The through-hull fitting was from a boating store.  The pump, microjets, and net pot came from my local hydroponics shop.  The Vittles Vault came from Petco.

You could certainly lower the cost by replacing the expensive Vittles Vault.  Honestly, I just loved the easy access of the big watertight door, and was willing to incur the expense for a nicer maintenance experience in the future. 

Admittedly, this was an experiment to build a "large plant, single site" unit.  In my next experiment, I'll be looking at building a unit meant for several smaller (strawberry) plants.  If you have comments or questions about how this was constructed, just let me know.  If you have an improvement on the design, make sure to share it with the group.

On to the weekly writeup:

Bambino eggplants are tasty.  I'm planning on growing several plants during the next grow cycle (that's a big part of why I built the new aeroponic system).  The eggplants are appearing regularly.

Additionally, small strawberries are appearing all over the place.  Thus far, we've eaten two of them, but they were early bloomers.  The majority of them are just growing now.

We've started some new seeds.  This time, it's Black Beauty eggplants and more of the Alexandria Alpine strawberries.   Once the existing Bambino eggplant finishes it's lifecycle, I'll replace it (and the remaining sites) with baby strawberry plants.  The new eggplants are destined for the newly constructed aeroponic system (and for Jessawick's secret Christmas present, another hydro system).

This week's overview photo:

Hydro-2007-12-15d.jpg

PlantTypeStatus
#01Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesSmall fruit and flowers are appearing regularly.
#02Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesSmall fruit and flowers are appearing regularly.
#03Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesSmall fruit and flowers are appearing regularly.  
#04Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesSmall fruit and flowers are appearing regularly. 
#05Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesSmall fruit and flowers are appearing regularly.
#06Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesSmall fruit and flowers are appearing regularly. 
#07Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesSmall fruit and flowers are appearing regularly. 
#08Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesSmall fruit and flowers are appearing regularly.
#09Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesThis fellow is always partially covered by the eggplant, and is not as large as the other strawberries.
#10Andrew Rahart's Jumbo Heirloom TomatoRemoved on 11/18/2007.
#11Delicious Heirloom TomatoPreviously killed through personal stupidity.
#12Bambino Baby EggplantLots of flowers and fruit. The largest fruits have a diameter of 1.75"  We're starting to pick them now, as they finish ripening.
#13Monet's Garden Lettuce
Removed
#14Monet's Garden LettuceRemoved
#15Monet's Garden LettuceRemoved
#16Monet's Garden LettuceTasty.  Eaten on 09/29/2007.
#17Lime Basil
Gone to seed.  Removed
#18Black Beauty Eggplant
New addition.  Has not yet germinated.  Seed placed into rockwool on 12/16/2007.
#19Black Beauty EggplantNew addition.  Has not yet germinated.  Seed placed into rockwool on 12/16/2007.
#20Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesNew addition.  Has not yet germinated.  Seed placed into rockwool on 12/16/2007.
#21Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesNew addition.  Has not yet germinated.  Seed placed into rockwool on 12/16/2007.
#22Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesNew addition.  Has not yet germinated.  Seed placed into rockwool on 12/16/2007.
#23Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesNew addition.  Has not yet germinated.  Seed placed into rockwool on 12/16/2007.
#24Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesNew addition.  Has not yet germinated.  Seed placed into rockwool on 12/16/2007.
#25Alexandria Alpine StrawberriesNew addition.  Has not yet germinated.  Seed placed into rockwool on 12/16/2007.