An Evening with the WI

It’s always good to challenge yourself when introducing something for the first time. Our first hosted Aquaponics tour, and talk, was no exception. Cue fifteen lovely ladies from a local WI group. 

You cannot legislate for the British weather. It was a wet and windy June evening that put paid to the outside introductions.  Instead, we stood amongst the tomatoes, growing in our traditional hot polytunnel, and discussed the importance of being a social enterprise business. We also talked about the potential comparison between growing traditionally and with Aquaponics. Food provenance, food security and food futures are the three cornerstones of what we do.

 We asked the diverse members of the group to provide feedback on our talk, with it being our first. It’s difficult to know how much to include, and how to pitch the technical information. For example, Aquaponics relies on the Nitrogen Cycle. We drew diagrams but probably lost a couple when we talked Nitrobactor bacteria and the chemical process for getting from Ammonia to Nitrate. It’s fundamental but many of us haven’t done school chemistry for decades. Maybe we should stick to talking about poo.

Interaction is important and is something that we will definitely continue to develop. People learn by doing not just listening. Two brave volunteers tested our water quality. We don’t know who was more nervous, the testers wanting to get the right colour solution or us praying that the water gave the right results. They did and it did. All good.

The proof of the quality of the evening is the quality of the questions. Insightful, challenging and honest. We’ll take that as a first visit. Next up U3A, this time without the comfort blanket of cue cards!