Applied Biology at the Dallas Makerspace!
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d mayne

Discussion  - 
 
Hey what is status of the freeze dryer? I saw it running a few weeks ago when I was at DMS. I want in on the rotation!
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d mayne's profile photoRichard Alexander's profile photo
3 comments
 

+d mayne I've been in California this week, so I can't say what is happening now, but why would you think the freeze-dryer might be broken? I've seen it used a few times, always by the owner, so the fact that it is not in use doesn't mean it is broken. 
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Mitch McDaniel

Discussion  - 
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Mitch McDaniel's profile photoRichard Alexander's profile photo
3 comments
 
+Mitch McDaniel Maybe the plants in aquaponics aren't getting enough light? 
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Mitch McDaniel

Discussion  - 
 
Thought I'd share some of the things I've been thinking about doing/growing related to Bio. Not all of them are DMS related, but it might spark some ideas in people.

Making a Cider Press: We've already talked about this one, but I'd really like to have a cider press because I like Cider and the byproduct is compostable material we can use or donate to local gardens. We would also need an Apple Scratter(Grinder, destroyer, what have you.) Andrew Floyd and I were looking at them the other day. 

Growing Fruit trees: I want to grow some interesting fruit trees. I have a few, but I still want try to root new ones from the branches of the old ones. I am also looking at ordering a Cherimoya Tree(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherimoya .) I'd like to start experimenting with grafting trees to other trees so we can grow multiple things out of one tree. 

Growing Vegetables: I'd like to start growing some potatoes by trying the trash can method. With the cider press we could use the leftover apple chunks as compost material to build up the trash cans. Apparently people can get up to 35 or 40 pounds of potatoes from one garbage can. Also some Jerusalem artichokes would be pretty neat. Garbage Can gardening is a whole thing in and of itself and can be used for all sorts of veggies.

Other things- I'd like to start some hop rhizomes growing. They move up and out instead of down and over, so we can start with a fairly small base and they'll grow on their own as long as we provide them some rods. Also, I'd like to start some Aloe Vera plants. They are really handy if someone burns themselves, which I imagine happens now and then at the space.

Electronic stuff- I'd like to set up some arduinos with moisture sensors and monitoring so I can check the water level of plants. Can take that a step further and a pump tied to it to make sure everything is properly watered. This would be particularly handy with the blue agave I have...it is VERY picky about water.  

Anyhow, those are my ideas for now. What do you guys have? 
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Mitch McDaniel's profile photo
 
Oh, I completely forgot! I have an infragram point and shoot camera that's made for detecting plant life growth. I'd love to hook it up and take some photos of stuff. If we bought one for the space(They're about 130 dollars), it has a time lapse mode built in and could really show us the life of plants over several months. 
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And on the 28th day he did say, "LET THERE BE HID LIGHTING!!".

Took the ballasts and everything to the local Texas Hydroponics, who did a free diagnostics of the systems.  Turned out the bulbs WERE dead (and I also mistook the 400W MH for the 600W HPS, so I was putting the wrong bulb in the small kit >_< )

But we now have two functional lighting systems!  I hung the 400W Metal Halide in the grow tent, which if no one objects I would like to start a Hydro project in.  The 600W switchable has the MH bulb installed and is ready to go near the Aquaponics, and we have a "new" (used, but functional) High-Pressure Sodium bulb for when we need redder light (flowering/fruiting stage, generally).  The HPS bulb is sitting on the wood desk.
2
Mitch McDaniel's profile photoAndrew Floyd's profile photo
3 comments
 
That's alright! I'm going to be heading there soon.
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Andrew Floyd
owner

Discussion  - 
 
These are a few of the marmokrebs I've been telling everyone about!

Cute little ladies eating some watermelon. 

I should add that these will be living in some of the aquaponics tanks for certain!
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Andrew Floyd
owner

Discussion  - 
 
I have a question for you all! I need to purchase some stuff from home depot for aquaponics that will cost about 24 dollars.

I have never asked, but does anyone have a problem with me spending some money here and there for bio needs?
1
Andrew Floyd's profile photoDoug Knoodle's profile photo
3 comments
 
Last I heard we had some monies for bio still set aside. I see no issue with it at all. And if we need any let us know and see about setting up a paypal donation link so we can contribute.
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Andrew Floyd
owner

Discussion  - 
 
Just picked up 33 Gallons of pea gravel from Mr. Gangwere! Glorious victory! The pallet in the background will be used for the base platform of the system!

Progress!!!
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Does the Bio Committee have a group on Google Groups? I much prefer using Groups over using Google+. 
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Andrew Floyd's profile photoRichard Alexander's profile photo
4 comments
 
I get some emails. I'm typing this particular message as a reply to a notification in Gmail, though not actually in Gmail, itself. I also got an email in Gmail about the aquaponics project, but most of what I see is on the DMS mail list or GMS group, not the Bio group. 
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Andrew Floyd
owner

Discussion  - 
 
Alright, so the Aquaponics thread is popular! This be good!

So what we've got to do now is summarize all the donations and who is making them.

First off Shaun Richardson offered to lend some nice things towards the project.

"1 x 400W MH Lamp/Ballast/Hood
1 x 600W MH / HPS switchable Lamp/Ballast/Hood
Variable amounts of hydroton (probably more than you'll need, but it'll need to be washed and sanitized...easy to do if we have a large-ish tub.
A grow tent with vent ports and light hanger, about 2'x3' or 2'x4' (not sure exactly) and about 6' tall
I have a few pumps, but they're kinda weak and are prone to gumming up in a nutrient solution.
Air pumps, air line, and a couple air stones for oxygination
Random grow containers (some net cups, and some medium hydro-bucket-things


If you see anything here you can use, just let me know and I'll bring it up to the Space next time I come by (tonight or tomorrow, probably).  Note on both the lights, I believe the bulbs I have function, but are near their EOL and may not shine at their full potential.  Certainly enough to get started, but we'll want fresh bulbs by the time any veggies kick into full swing."

Then Mr. Gangwere informed me that he has a 33 gallon trash can full of pea gravel we can use! I've just got to pick it up. Going to do that this weekend.

Doug Knoodle has graciously offered us the use of some barrels!
"I'll see if I can get my brother to let me use his vehicle and we can bring three of the barrels up. Will three be enough for what you are thinking? All the barrelponics systems I've seen are based on 3 barrels."

Steve Adams has some components and skills to offer if we need them. "I have 2 ballasts and sets of bulb clips left over.
That will be 4 48 inch flourescent lights.
Find out what the cost is of the bulbs and I may just make it happen for you."

D Mayne says that he's got some aggregate to offer too! "I have several 45lb bags(8) of Plant!t that are unopened. I could donate a couple of them. Even unused hydroton needs to be washed and cleaned so plan on it."

So that's where we're at so far!

I do have my 100 gal stock tank if we decide to go that way but with Doug bringing the barrels we may not even need to haul that. We'll keep discussing it on here!

I'll be there tonight and if anyone wants to meet up we'll chat on it in person!
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Doug Knoodle's profile photoAndrew Floyd's profile photo
8 comments
 
I think we could use the gutters Mr. Mayne! And no worries about the probes. They sound super cool but I think waiting till we have a good system going is prudent! Getting the electronics boys involved would be cool I love variety! No worries Mr. Knoodle. I will be there quite a bit this weekend myself so we can figure something out.
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Andrew Floyd
owner

Discussion  - 
 
This site looks like it might be really interesting!

Brian Stout has some fantastic ideas for making the bio area a self-sufficient part of DMS monetarily.  

This is my thing I'm throwing on the table! 
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Carl Sinyard's profile photo
 
I have been reading through the SPIN material. The Free Pass Along PDFs are an excellent reference for small plot intensive gardening. This type of organic farming is a great addition to local access to fresh produce.

Looking forward to more Bio ideas.
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Andrew Floyd
owner

Discussion  - 
 
Phew. I have been super busy with welding, life, and figuring out this upcoming move the makerspace is going through. BUT!

Plenty of bio things are going on. Vermiculture, Self Watering Containers, Methane, and more! 

There will be another meeting with the Herb Society on the 28th at the same place. North Haven Gardens! See you folks there!
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About this community

This is where makers that are biology curious or already involved in the work can meet and organize! No DMS membership required!

Mitch McDaniel

Discussion  - 
 
Plant life around the space as captured by my Infragram Point and Shoot.
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Mitch McDaniel's profile photo
 
www.publiclab.org is where I got the camera, FYI.
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Mitch McDaniel

Discussion  - 
 
Bought my Infragram setup around so I can take some photos of the plants and see if I can have it process into some neat photos. I also stopped by DQ on the way. Do these shrimpy things need food and what won't/can't they eat if that's the case?
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Andrew Floyd
owner

Discussion  - 
 
Mitch and I have brought my aquaponic unit and a self watering container into the tent.

I know you are going to build a hydro unit, Shaun, but these guys need light.

We'll have to cross that bridge when we get to it!
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Shaun Richardson's profile photoAndrew Floyd's profile photo
5 comments
 
I appreciate the advice and the assistance! I will try and stop by there tomorrow perhaps and fool with it a bit more. I'll see about getting the big AP tank full up and maaaaybe transfer a marmokreb into it. 
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Doug Knoodle

Discussion  - 
 
On Monday I dropped off 3 barrels. Sorry they need some cleaning, they have been outside for a while.
1
Doug Knoodle's profile photo
7 comments
 
Was that the one that felt heaviest? I know one of them had a water leak. Maybe it was glycerine mixed with water? Just a guess though.
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Andrew Floyd
owner

Discussion  - 
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Mitch McDaniel's profile photoAndrew Floyd's profile photo
3 comments
 
I'll find out this afternoon if I'm working tomorrow.
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Andrew Floyd
owner

Discussion  - 
 
We have made some progress! Barrel is cut for fish tank and the 30 gallon aquarium is going to be another system. I cut up a pallet and it makes a nice cradle for the barrel while being compact!

Now to build growbeds and get pumps!
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Doug Knoodle's profile photoAndrew Floyd's profile photo
2 comments
 
That's okay! I wouldn't mind building more systems. I'll just need more pumps and timers.I think it'd be real cool to have a farm going in there. If you can bring them that'd be great, but I'm making stuff work with whatever I can get.
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I was going to say this in the Aquaponics thread below, but I can't attach photos to comments, apparently. Any case, I've dropped off a number of things to the Bio corner that will hopefully be helpful.  Photo is labeled and shows everything sans the grow tent itself (already assembled), a tarp, and a small fan (neither of which are terribly important). Oh, also two small totes that I've used as reservoirs, one of which has a lid with 6 holes cut to accommodate the net cups, and a notch for the water pump cord.  This should be everything one needs to do a basic six-cup DWC/Drip system, except I guess the pH adjusting chemicals and hydroponic nutrients, which I only did not bring as I figured Aquaponics would not need them.  However, if we want to try a Hydro setup first, let me know and I'll bring in what I have (not enough for a full grow, but enough to get started. Consider everything on loan for the foreseeable future.  Anything we don't want or need for this project, again just let me know and I'll take the chaff home.
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Andrew Floyd's profile photoShaun Richardson's profile photo
5 comments
 
Yeah, when you said you were building the system on a pallet I realized it probably wouldn't fit in this tent.  Ah well, Mylar shouldn't be terribly expensive, if I remember right.  I'll be sure to get that thing out of the way next time I'm up at the 'Space.
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Mitch McDaniel

Discussion  - 
 
I-beams for the cider press have finally arrived. I can bring them to the space this week. +Andrew Floyd - Do you want to meet up some time this week for planning? 
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Andrew Floyd's profile photoMitch McDaniel's profile photo
6 comments
 
Headed down there in a little bit. 
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Mitch McDaniel

Discussion  - 
 
I've got some i-beams on the way to make one of these:  The mother of all DIY cider presses! Next, I need to figure out how to make a good apple grinder(scratter, destroyer, whatever you want to call it.) 

It looks pretty portable since it stands on allthread. Maybe a giant cider day sometime? 
1
Mitch McDaniel's profile photoAndrew Floyd's profile photo
3 comments
 
I went to the meeting last night and we have got a 10'x10' bio area in the warehouse. So fear not! We have more space and we're easier to access.
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