We built a germination chamber (a.k.a. the germinator) using an old freezer, a thermostat, a few shelves, and a Vicks vaporizor.
The vaporizor and thermostat keep the inside a moist, toasty 72 degrees so that the seeds will sprout quickly. Yesterday (Tuesday, May 17th, 2016), Bretton and I planted the first six trays of seeds and popped them into the germinator.
We also built two sprouting tables -- 4' x 8' solid wood, very well painted and caulked.
Once the seeds send out their first shoots (hopefully in 2-3 days), we'll move them to a sprouting table and put them under grow lights. We put the sprouting table in one of the office rooms in the warehouse so that we can better control the temperature. We'll shoot for a steady 70 degrees.
The sprouting tables are slightly angled so that water will flow from one end to another and drain out the drain pipe (if you look carefully, you can see the drain pipe on the left end of the table). We'll send a 5 gallon bucket of nutrient laden water through the table once or twice a day. The goal is to keep the growing media moist, but not sitting in water.
While the sprouts are growing, we'll be building our first aquaponic system. Two 55 gallon drums for the fish tanks and two 32 sq ft troughs for the plant rafts. Here are the parts, ready to be cut, painted, and assembled.
If you are interested in more details on how all of this works or if you'd like to build an aquaponic system yourself, please visit Friendly Aquaponic's web site. They are my consultants and teachers for all things aquaponic.