Our goal at Shamrock Aquaponic Farm has always been to develop effective, inexpensive grow systems that will allow the average family to become more food independent.
If you find sufficient value in our work you are invited to make a donation to help fund our next project.
If you see a product that you would like but don’t have the time or skill required to do it yourself we are happy to build it for you. Your feedback, suggestions and comments are always welcome.
One of our first big obstacles we faced in setting up our farm came in trying to find a good sized, quality greenhouse that we could afford. There are plenty available in the $10,000 to $40,000 range and lots of $50 PVC hoop house plans, but not much between those two extremes.
The design that I developed is able to build a 24′ x 40′ Gothic arch greenhouse, using new material, for about $500. Because the lumber is ripped and laminated into arch trusses the design lends itself to using reclaimed lumber, which could bring the cost below $200 for fasteners and poly sheeting. We engineered this structure to comply with South Florida 160 mph wind code.
See video on our VIDEOS page
Purchase DIY Plan sets HERE
Vertical Grow Tubes
I developed this vertical planting system in response to the staggering pricing ($200- $350 per stack) on the various vertical stackers that are out there. My stacks can hold from six to twenty four plants depending on the planting density your looking for, they are constructed from 2″ or 3″ PVC pipe, which is much stronger and longer lasting than the styrofoam cooler types, and are inexpensive at $5 material cost for the 2″ and about$8 each for the 3″. The cut and glue up time takes me about three minutes per tube. We had good results planting the 2″ tubes as aeroponic and also with polyester filter media last planting and are going to be testing the 3″ tubes with a perlite / vermiculite blend, and a mulched tree bark in place of coco coir. In the instructions for the build I lay out the cutting and glue up jigs that makes these stacks so fast and easy to make.
Black Soldier Flyer Breeder Box
If you are not using Black Soldier Fly larva in your composting yet you really need to check these out. They out preform earth worms ten to one on their ability to produce great compost and on the amount of larva produced for chicken and fish feed. My BSF breeder box has gone through a couple of design changes to what I now think is the easiest, simplest, least expensive model possible. My cost for the materials the whole thing was $11 and took about ten minutes to construct, which is significantly better than the $200 – $350 cost for the biopod type. Two of these boxes handle all the food scrapes from our kitchen and all of the vegetable matter from the greenhouse. I was able to simplify the design by working within the parameters of the bugs natural drives and abilities. They really do all the work for you.
See video on our VIDEOS page
Pump-Free Aquaponic System
This system is an attempt to create a simpler grow system that cost less to set up and to maintain. It will eliminate the need to plumb your system, unplug clogged lines, replace failed pumps and all the other cost involved in moving 10 – 12 tons of water an hour, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. My goal is to create a system that works as effortlessly as the pond ecosystem that exist next to our greenhouse. (Where I sit when I need to rest from working on my pumps and filters). By balancing the fish population density with the required square footage of submerged filter media it is possible to process the ammonia build up into nitrates through diffusion only, without a pump. By modifying the lettuce raft design it is possible to protect the plant roots from hungry fish while providing sufficient surface area to allow for oxygen exchange directly through the water. Just like in my pond.
When our agave plant went to seed this year I decided to plant all the sprouts that I could as they only seed every thirty years or so. I ended up with over 500 of them. They went into the lettuce raft for a few weeks until they got to 6-8″.