About a few days ago, trying to search for some worthwile projects to do, I discovered Hydroponics - the science of raising plants, as in farming, without the use of conventional growing medium or SOIL. Many years ago, I have seen this on the news. Japanese city dwellers having amazingly healthy and greed garden in the rooftops withouth the need for soil. I thought, well, of course, its Japan and people are inately inventive. Fast forward to 2011. I was sort of drawn, you know, like a deep black hole - drawn, I could feel my eyes growing ever wide watching videos upon videos of people in youtube having their own hydroponic system at home, in an apartment, or with very little need for space. I've always loved plants. Growing up, I remember being the only one among my siblings who would take the responsibility of watering our plants at the front and backyard of our rented home in Cavite. We lived near a river so it really is hard to find the right ornamental plant to grow in a salty environment. We had a big Kalachuci trea in the left side of the front yard that bears white and yellow smelly flowers, and near the road just at the right side of the tall coconut trea in the corner of the front yard was the red Kalachuchi tree, thinner but gave more colorful flowers of bright red, almost like maroon. There was also Melendres, Palmera, Fortune, San Francisco, Espada, White Grass, Kutcharita. In the backyard was mostly vines grown by our 2nd Floor neighbor, Dr. Domingo, who also loves planting.
As I got into highschool, little bit of college and finally worked, I could barely find time to care for the plants and mostly it was my Nanay who would do the gardening. We moved from one place to another until I came over to Saudi Arabia to work, but I would always find some plants around the house because of Nanay.
Now living in Imus, Cavite - we still have a few plants, albeit not as much because of lack of space. I remember a few old orchid plants that my Nanay brought along wherever she moved and are alive until now. I also tried to buy new orchids and other plants whenever on vacation but it wasn't like before.
Back to my research, I just found myself in a sudden positive switch as I discovered, then again another childhood passion = FISH! I learned about about Aquaponics.
When I was young, the river near our house used to overflow to my Lola's backyard and the river water brings with it schools of Asube, Siliw, Tilapia, Bubondat etc. Me, and sometimes joined by my younger brother Gerry, would use traps to catch the fish and put them in bottles. Saltwater fish as they are, obviously, they would die within a few hours in freshwater from the Poso. Only the Tilapia, Martaniko, Hito or Gourami would survive for a few days but also succumb to death after because of, of course, poor living condition. Sometimes I would use the Labangan in the small babuyan as the pool to put the Tilapia, whenever we don't have Pigs to tend to. At an early age, because of the wisdom from my Tatay Ipe, I learned how the male and female Tilapia differs in physical appearance, and I would try to catch a pair hoping to breed them.
Now more than several decades later, I am still carrying with me the bug of plants, fish and animals. After being here in Saudi ARabia for more than 15 years, I don't remember a single time that I did not have a plant and/or a small aquarium with fish and/or a few birds in the flat that I am living. For me, its a part of my life, I have to have a pet.
Anyway, going back again to Aquaponics.... am I glad to have found about it... I AM EXTATIC!
. . . to be continued