Our Introduction To Farming In Valley Springs CaliforniaMay 17th, 2011 by Craig Mullins
This isn’t your grandfather’s farm. Nor is it the farm you visited with your second grade class, but we’d sure love to have some second graders visit!
The life of a farmer has changed, my friend! Farming is moving and shaking, and where it’s going is like no place it’s ever been before.
The agricultural interests of the Mullins Farms spread far and wide – from worm farming and growing fruit, to growing lettuce using Hydroponics and a little bit of fish farming through Aquaponics and educational classes taught on site.
Worm Farming: Technically known as Vermicomposting worm farming is the act of utilizing various species of worms – usually earthworms, red wigglers, and white worms – to create a heterogeneous mixture of decomposing vegetable or food waste (excluding dairy, meat, fats, or oils), bedding materials, and the end-product of the breakdown of organic matter by the worms known as vermicast.
Hydroponics: Developed in the 18th century by researchers who discovered that plants absorb essential mineral nutrients as inorganic ions in water, Hydroponics is the method of growing plants without using soil, but rather the mineral nutrient solutions found in the water.
Under natural conditions, plant soil acts as a reservoir for mineral nutrients, but the soil itself is not crucial for healthy plant growth. When the soil nutrients dissolve into the water, the plant roots are able to absorb them.
Almost any plant found around the world can be grown using Hydroponics.
Aquaponics: Combining the ancient technique of aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as fish, prawns, or crayfish in tanks) with Hydroponics, Aquaponics creates a symbiotic environment, perfect for a sustainable food production system.
In the aquaculture section of the system, effluents accumulate in the water, increasing toxicity for the fish; this water is in turn led to a hydroponic system where the by-products are filtered out by the plants, then turn into vital nutrients. Once the cycle is complete, the cleansed water is recirculated back to the fish, and the process begins again.
Stay tuned for more fun farming talk from Mullins Farms, and join them on their journey of agricultural delights!