It's been a while since I've added a new blog, but only because work is keeping us very busy these days. We continue to get busier and busier every weekend, which in turn means we continue to meet new friends and see our regulars.
To the regulars who come back for more vegetables and help spread the word, Tim and I want to say Thank You. Your support does not go unnoticed. We are so happy we can serve you these fresh vegetables and we are proud to call you friend.
Of course, our life isn't all about work. Tim and I were able to get up north to our camper a week back and ride our sleds. Saw old friends we haven't seen in a while and spent some quality time together. The weather was beautiful and actually ABOVE zero. On our second day we experienced mid thirty's with all sunshine and man did we soak it all in. Found a lot of trails that had just been groomed, and for those of you who ride, you know how sweet that is. A great time was had by all.
For the greenhouse, we continue to grow our tomatoes, lettuce and cilantro. This week we had carrots for the first time and sold out our first day. We are learning more and more regarding the conditions that different vegetables thrive in, and are making adjustments as we learn, with all adjustments built via Aquaponics, of course. Tim has the plans worked out for the next greenhouse, and will start building that out in the next week or so. We just need mother nature to help us out a little. We don't need heat, but sun is sure welcome :)
Of course, a shout out to our vendors as well. We have mittens/scarves/purses hand made by Stacey Milverstedt. They are beautiful and oh so warm and comfy. Stacey also adds her touch to glasses, changing a simple wine or martini glass into a work of art. From Nancy Peterson, we have hand made kitchen towels, dish clothes, sweaters, scarves, aprons and more. New additions include home made products from Simply Mom Made LLC including lip balm, hand soap, laundry detergent, body butter and body scrub. I use Jennifer's products, and they are amazing. And last, but most definitely not least, Heather LaVenture has brought in her beautiful hand crafted greeting cards. You can find one for just about any occasion, both adult and children. All of our vendors are extremely talented and passionate about their work, and it shows in the final product. Thank you for sharing your talents with our customers.
Cheers to all, and here's to hoping everyone a safe and successful week ahead.
Tim & Shawn
All I can say is WOW! We had such a great weekend. I know it is cliché coming from a business owner but our friends and customers are truly amazing. We attribute our busy weekend to the fact that you have not only continued to visit us, but you have also graciously spread the word. We are listening to your feedback and will continue to build out more greenhouses to offer even more fresh vegetables.
Tim is working on cucumbers, radishes, zucchini, and acorn squash while the green peppers, carrots, and onions continue to grow. Based on your feedback he has seeded oregano and tarragon. He is going to look into Yukon Gold potatoes and green onions.
We look forward to serving all of you many years into the future.
Enjoy your week everyone. Rumor has it we may hit somewhere 20 or above by the end of the week. I for one am not keeping my fingers crossed, but if it happens you may just see me basking in the heat out on my front porch.
Tim & Shawn
Another good weekend at Doose Aquaponics has come and gone.
A few high school colleagues stopped in this weekend. Many of them were surprised to see me. They didn't know I was the other half of the Doose in Doose Aquaponics. So for anyone who knows me but hasn't yet made the connection to Doose Aquaponics, it's me, Shawn Blake. I wasn't always toting and eating healthy foods in my MUCH younger days :)
Another question we often hear throughout the day is "how did you get started in Aquaponics?" I'll try to give a short version of our story. For years Tim had wanted a greenhouse. He has been excited about growing things for ages. As a heavy equipment operator at a gravel pit, Tim has winters off. He took this time to build a greenhouse in our back yard. He started out growing vegetables the way most everyone does, in dirt using chemicals. At the same time, I had been reading up on healthy eating and realized, at my age, eating a ton of preservatives and chemicals was something I needed to take a closer look at. Through the many conversations we had on the topic, Tim started researching other healthier ways to grow vegetables. He started by researching Hydroponics (soil free using water and adding other nutrients to the water to feed the plants), but then found information on Aquaponics (also soil free using water, but using fish waste to feed the plants) , and realized in order to go completely chemical free, Aquaponics was the way to go. He proceeded to build out the greenhouse the Aquaponics way, including digging a holding tank for fish, building filters and circulation pumps for continuous recirculation of the water and ordering approximately 100 fish and a couple bee hives for pollination. He then found ways to heat his greenhouse, even on those negative zero days you feel like your face will crack wide open with just a smile. Through trial and error, he found success. The vegetables were much better and so much fresher than those he had been growing in dirt. I was now able to get fresh vegetables even in the dead of winter here in Wisconsin. And from there....the birth of the idea for Doose Aquaponics. Tim is the brains behind the operation. Me, I'm the cheerleader in the background supporting this dream 100% with never a regret.
What is the dream? Our dream is to share with you fresh vegetables any season of the year that are grown without pesticides or herbicides. We welcome requests for greenhouse tours where you can see exactly how the vegetables are grown. For those who have stopped to visit, thank you for your excitement and words of encouragement.
I've made some updates to our website. I've changed our background in hopes the site is now a bit easier on the eyes. I've also added a new page where I've shared some healthy recipes using tomatoes, lettuce, herbs, and other healthy options. (Thank you Cyndi for the tip!) I haven't yet tried all of these recipes, therefore I can't take credit (or blame) for how they will make your taste buds react. They sure sound amazing though. I'll keep trying them and post my own taste bud reviews.
I also figured out how to add the Facebook link on our Contact and Location page! That one took me some time but I figured it out. I'm feeling rather proud this morning! (smiles).
Here's to hoping everyone wakes up with a smile and keeps that feeling all day long. Cheers all, and stay safe on the roads today.
We now have Cilantro, Chervil, Dill, and Parsley ready to pick and sell. I receive a lot of questions asking what Chervil is. Chervil is a mild version of Taragon (a bit of a licorice flavor). I've used it to make an amazing chicken salad sandwich and it's extremely good in eggs. Fresh herbs add so much more flavor than the dry seasonings. Come by and give it a try.
We also receive questions regarding pricing for our tomatoes and lettuce. Our tomatoes are $3.10 / lb and our lettuce (butter crunch, red sail, and romaine) is $2.50 / bag. All harvested fresh that day. We have a good amount of both right now. I made some finger snacks today with organic mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Num!
We had another great weekend at Doose Aquaponics. Some new customers and some repeat customers. To all, thank you for coming in to see us even in this weather, which in my opinion is just crazy. I went outside today with my hood on which was sort of silly, since the wind took it off in seconds. The greenhouse plastic makes all sorts of noises when the wind blows this hard. Tim and I kept looking at each other with that "did you hear that" sort of look. Thank goodness my husband is an amazing handyman and has been able to keep the greenhouses toasty warm for the veggies.
I hope all who have come to see us are enjoying Doose Aquaponics as much as we are. We have worked hard to make it a homey comfortable place to visit. I won't deny it was a scary adventure, particularly when we are both working our "real" jobs during the week. Working seven days a week seemed a bit overwhelming until we actually started. We have found that our weekends aren't really work. We get to socialize with great friends, sharing amazing stories over a cup of coffee. And for those who just want to stop in for a quick pick-up of fresh vegetables, we hope we have made your stop convenient.
More to come from the Doose's.
Tim & Shawn
We are officially opened and so excited.
This past weekend was our first official open weekend. We met some amazing new friends and had some great conversation with current friends.
What a weekend it was. Sold a ton of fresh vegetables, which was good, and learned a ton at the same time, which in hind sight is also good. The learning curve did add a bit of anxiety to the days. Things like a cash register that continued to error. And the programmer of said cash register (me), realizing that when you program a cash register to bypass the decimal point, it REALLY bypasses the decimal. Yep, told the machine to go without the decimal, continued to push decimal, then realized the error (bad choice of words) in my ways. Imagine my fear when I realized I may have to do math in my head. But no worries, I figured it all out before impacting any customers.
We also realized we had forgotten our Do Not Enter signs. A VERY kind gentleman came in the wrong door (NOT his fault), and walked into a greenhouse that has not been built out, and is used as our storage. I am so very grateful he continued to walk into the store. He was 100% kind, but I have to imagine the thought in his head as he looked around at the mess.
Thank you to all who have supported us in the openings, and everyone who has supported the construction. There is MUCH construction left to go but we are on our way. To Andrea and Herman, thank you thank you for all of your kindness and support.
More to come.
Tim and Shawn Doose (Shawn is the author and the programming genious)
Cheers to all.