This weekend saw me have a rant in our Facebook group for New Forest Aquaponics, I don’t often do that but I needed help and I get so frustrated that we seem to struggle to get people to help at this end of our project – the hard work messy part – I know we will get people to help harvest food when we get that far, but we need help to be able to get that far in the first place!
Here is my rant, well it is a story really.
So on a mad mission this weekend. For those of you who don’t know why here is a little story.
So we used to own Greenmann Aquatics at three legged cross Verwood,, for many many very sad reasons we had to close the shop 3 years ago. Wyevale who owned the garden centre decided that they were not going to allow us to take the aquariums from the shop. This prevented us from setting up another shop, that was the viable brilliant part of the business.
It has taken us 3 years of battling with them through my ill health, through trials and tribulations with our family to get access to the aquariums.
Very sadly because of our economy and the way the Garden Centre trade has gone due to Wyevale owning all the garden centres and because of things like Amazon and the internet there are very few aquatic shops left. No-one one wanted to buy the tanks, no one is really setting up shops, no one is improving their shops because they’re fighting to keep in business – you get the picture!
We were very kindly given some temporary storage for the aquariums, but that now has come to an end and we need to be able to move them very quickly.
We’ve been trying to sell them, and been trying to work out what to do we could to still use them.
Dave has a desire to be breeding axolotls and the tanks would be very very useful for that. I think we could breed all sorts of fish for what part of the aquatic trade is left but also to keep the skills, to encourage people to keep fish.
Fish are amazing things for anybody they bring something to our mental health our consciousness our connection with nature that nothing else can do in the same way.
When we’ve had co-workers from other farms come and visit I have seen the change in how they behave, how they interact with people when they spend time looking at the fish.
I know when we had the shop people would come and just be in the the fish room to spend time immersing themselves in a little bit of escapism for many reasons.
I have said ever since we got hold of the aquariums again how amazing it would be if we could provide that experience for people without it being something that they had to spend money on, somewhere that they could just come and be with fish because I know it healing and calming.
This week I realised that we do have space, the part of the greenhouse I’m clearing could actually be a place where we set the Aquariums up. We could actually do this, but do you know what I cannot do it all by myself I need help and support for this to become a community where people can come and connect with the biosphere with each other with the fish.
The vision I see is a beautiful, but I need help and support to do this right now at the nitty gritty dirty horrible it’s too hot stage then you’ll know that you’ve been a part of making something wonderful that can be shared with everybody.
Rant over – love and peace to you all 💚💚💚
And guess what? I had four people turn up and help, Four amazing people who can see my vision, who believe that there is magic happening and want to be part of it.
We got the tanks moved, it took about four days of Dave and my son Robbie going back and forth with our trailer moving aquariums, stands and pipework. We had put them up for sale as financially we didn’t have a choice. The second hand value of the complete set up was a tiny fraction of what we had paid. As Dave and Robbie lifted the last few tanks into the greenhouse, my phone rang, it was someone making me an offer on the whole system!
So two days later Dave and Robbie started to help the new owners of the aquariums load the van to take them to the shop they were setting up. They were not really impressed at doing it so soon, but it was good to be able to draw a line under that part of our lives.
Dave is breeding axolotls now, having worked out a better way than using the tanks, and they are now a really important part of our work.
The space that was cleared had to be used to store more equipment left over from the shop when we lost the storage for that. Once again we needed a hand to get it clear and put up some racking to store what we were keeping on it.
Early 2021 two of the same friends came back to help – still believing in our vision
You know who you are THANK YOU !!!!