Last overview update 4/16/18 ... General overview of our farm ...

The Oregon Truffle Tryst Farm will consist of several Aquaponics systems that are being built from plans obtained from Friendly Aquaponics of Hawaii and will be housed in several self-designed greenhouse buildings. The first phase was built to gain experience with the setup and daily maintenance of a vegetable aquaponics system. It consists of 256 square feet of growing troughs and several tanks (4'x4'x4' and 4'x4'x8' fish tanks, a 2'x4'x4' biofilter tank and a 2'x4'x4' vet tank) giving a water volume of approximately 3000 gallons. After a few problems with the newly purchased fish in startup mode, it was functioning well. However, a recurrence of fish problems ensued and our nutrients have continued to fluctuate more than we'd expect. Overall we are still producing nice quality crops but our production is inconsistent rather than a regular amount each week. Our Aquaponics system has been functioning for over four years now and we do sell a small amount of produce nearly every week.

Our farm plan has evolved over the last four years as well.

We have seen a number of Oregon Black truffles appear in a stand of Fir that was inoculated with truffles a good eight years ago. We haven't yet determined if there is more than an occasional truffle available as we have not managed to get a truffle dog out here.

We have produced mushrooms on sawdust, straw, and logs over the years but have not attempted to produce them as a crop available to sell. That may change once more construction has been completed. We are also attempting to create collars for our Aquaponics rafts using mushroom mycelium grown through straw and/or sawdust substrate.

Over the last two years, we started trying to grow a tea crop. We have a reasonable climate, a great location, and great topography for the attempt. We are unsure whether we will have the necessary funds to grow enough plants to make it work financially. We are starting many tea seeds in hopes that a few will survive. Regrowing from seeds produced by those plants will create more acclimated plants. After a number of such generations, we would have a fair number of hardy plants, although that can take many years. The other, much more expensive option (at least in the short term) is to buy live plants that are already reasonably acclimated. Luckily we do have a source nearby (Minto Tea Farm) close to Salem and will keep attempting to procure more plants.

One other idea that is in the planning stage is to create a "forest garden" in at least a section of our back fields.

If anyone is wandering around our area, feel free to drop by to see the bits and pieces we have managed to put together so far. And we would be more than happy to hear your thoughts and suggestions!

Thank you for your time. Have a great day!

Bob & Stephanie

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