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Reading about cycling the aquaponics system and one thing they recommended was to use some media from an established system.
Any idea how much? Colin Roger MacLean, do you have a clue? :)
I've got mine started and have about a bucket's worth of media left over so could do a straight swap with some established media, whether it's a liter of media or ten.
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Are there membership / payment forms available somewhere online ? ... See MoreSee Less

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I think this might need an experimental version, but for a large scale aquaponics grow I think we can eliminate some (or all) of the need for fish pellets for food, something that may become short supply and expensive in the future. With the oceans expected to be a desert by 2050 at the current rate we'll probably be the only hobbyists and businesses producing fish.
Anyway, pet stores sell soft-shell crickets for feeding reptiles. They have much less chitin than the crickets around here, and mealworms and other feeders. They can be fed vegetable waste, such as cuttings or discarded root systems from harvested plants.
So we could be using the fish-water to feed the plants, the plant to feed the crickets, the crickets to feed the fish.
We'd still probably need a fish meal, but this could offset it.
Plus there's also the option of farming crickets for food as well. With a lot of immigrants from countries where insects are a staple in the diet, cricket products would not be looked down on. More protein than steak too.
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Hello all I just became a member on Saturday. Any makers have experience refurbishing a one half horsepower single phase motor? I suspect the centrifugal switch is occasionally sticking in the running position thereby making the next start a no go. I might take er a-part on Saturday. There's also a crusty sounding back bearing. Motor runs a woodworking jointer but sat idle for about 17 years. ... See MoreSee Less

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Journal-Pioneer Feature Article

- Posted on December 11, 2015 by

Thanks to Colin MacLean and the Journal-Pioneer for giving us some coverage in the paper and online! Full text of the article is here:

The lights are flickering in the half-finished room where the only furniture is an old couch and a beach chair.

It doesn’t look like much right now, but Chris Willcock and his friends have big plans for this space so in need of some tender loving care.

When they look around it, they imagine artisans honing their crafts, hobbyists learning from each other and inventors collaborating on their next innovation.

They want to turn this unused Greenwood Drive building into Summerside’s first ‘makerspace.’

“We’re trying to build a self-sustaining community who want to be creative with technology. Technology of all kinds, whether it’s woodworking, solar panels, electronics, this is a space that welcomes all creatives,” said Willcock.

Makerspaces, also known as hacklabs, are starting to pop up in cities all over the world.

They function as shared workspaces, where hobbyists, artists, programmers and tinkerers can gather, share resources, learn from each other and teach others.

Members pay a nominal fee and get access to the space and its equipment. If they’re comfortable with doing so, some members will be called on to teach classes in the space or give demonstrations of their skills to raise money to help support the space. They’re also usually supported by industry and other community groups.

“Part of it is almost like an old-fashioned co-op where you can share equipment that you normally couldn’t afford or have the space for on your own. But really the community is what it’s all about; it’s the people and their knowledge transfer,” said Derek Campbell, one of the organizers of the space.

The other two main organizers for the Summerside Makerspace are Aaron Boeker and Steve Howard.

All the men have a deep interest in technology and innovation and see this project as an opportunity for the community. Plus it’s a good excuse to meet and hang out with people who share their interests.

“It’s just going into the unknown. Why do we have a large hadron-collider in the world? Just to find out things we don’t know,”  said Howard.

“So getting a bunch of folks together to create something new is probably going to create something that we can’t even predict. That’s what I see coming from the makerspace.”

The organizers are currently getting some cleanup crews together for the their chosen location, known as the Summerside Venture Centre, which has been made available by the City of Summerside.

Eventually, they will put out a call for donations to help get the space off the ground, said Willcock, but for right now, they’re focused on getting the space cleaned up and freshly painted.

Anyone who might have some gently used tools, art supplies or other materials can contact the organizers through the makerspace’s website, www.summersidemakerspace.ca. Anyone interested in becoming a member of the space can also contact them through the website.

“We would be looking for support in the form of time, treasure and talent,” said Willcock.

They hope to have the makerspace cleaned up, and within the next month or so have the first members working shortly thereafter and finally host an open house by mid-March.

Colin.MacLean@JournalPioneer.com

@JournalPMacLean

An Excerpt from the December Economic Development Office Newsletter / City of Summerside

- Posted on December 8, 2015 by

Summerside Economic Development is set to partner with community leaders, to open up the first Makerspace in Summerside. A makerspace is a workshop that provides tools, materials and space in a community environment where youth and adults alike work independently or collaboratively on creative projects in any area – computer programming to woodworking, painting to mechanical engineering.

Participants pay for membership and members offer classes on focused topics for a small fee-per attendee, to raise funds for supplies and other costs including rents and utilities. Corporate members are welcome as are donations of time, treasure and talent in the form of expert advice, donations of supplies and working tools and/or in-kind services.

At the makerspace, people gather to share resources and knowledge, work on projects, network and build. The availability of real working tools and nearby colleagues putting them to practical use opens the doors of thinking big and testing ideas while the culture of do-it yourself, sharing knowledge and experimentation grows the capabilities of the group. Makerspaces are zones of self-directed learning in a shared setting. The makerspace is the ultimate workshop for the tinkerer and the perfect educational space for individuals who learn best by doing.