The Cradle Ark Prototype

A Cradle Ark Prototype is a self funded concurrent project that is an attempt to build a virtuous feeding machine primarily focussed on a cheaper protein source. Various ideas and technologies are incorporated into the design which is God inspired and focused on the natural symbiotic relationships between the components. Ultimately a feeding machine requiring the lowest input costs will emerge and based on this design, additional funding will then be sourced to upscale the design at the Cradle Ark in Tarlton. The design will incorporate various components- Vermiculture, Aquaponics , Aquaculture, Black Soldier Fly (BSF) processing, Chickens and finally rabbit breeding using the local Phendula rabbit.

The development of the Cradle Ark prototype can be depicted and followed in the following diagrams. (The real constraint on the prototype being the governing bylaws that might inhibit the testing/building of some pieces of the ultimate Cradle Ark model. However, should the prototype need to be moved this is also a longer term possibility)

 

The first phase is relatively easy to follow with the fish providing nutrients for the vegetables, the worms providing nutrients for the vegetables as well as the fish and some vegetables being used to lessen the feed requirements of the fish.

 

The first phase can run indefinitely if necessary but the next planned Phase 2 is the introduction of the Black Soldier Fly (BSF). The feed input of the BSF will be the fish sludge solids and any offal of slaughtered fish or fish that die plus the initial supplementation by fetching rotting fruit or vegetables. The larvae can then be fed to the fish, the compost to the worms and the virtuous circle expands.

The addition of chickens at this stage would also supplement the feed of the larvae with their droppings although this has been left to Phase 3.

 

Phase three assumes that sufficient vegetables are being produced and that the chickens and rabbits plus duckweed moves into the picture. the duckweed on such a small scale is very experimental as it would require much larger capacities to be useful.

 

Phase four involves human waste processing using the duckweed and BSF and I am not sure if this will happen on the initial prototype other than some very simplistic testing and experimentation.

This in turn then leads o Phase 5 which is a small biodiesel plant. This however, could be incorporated at any stage once the BSF is of sufficient size plus the planned growth of soya as a food and possible bio fuel supplement.

 

 

Current situation

In line with the quickest to implement and biggest bang for your buck, the current prototype is delving into the traditional farming methods. The next phase is to build a hoop house tunnel to provide some protection against the elements. A drip irrigation set up utilising filtered worm tea will the also be implemented as part of a testing phase for The Cradle Ark. The current worm production is under the banner of CROSSWORMS and is currently maintained by my daughter.

The worms are being fed the traditional kitchen scraps supplemented by coffee grounds kindly collected by The Coffee Cafe. This has so far been successful in small doses but the next requirement will be to test and record the PH as the link back to the grow beds could have a negative impact on the fish.