Summer Class: Food Production and Sustainability – Learning about Aquaponics

As I have mentioned before, I’m taking summer classes. Currently, I am taking a class called Food Production and Sustainability. Summer classes are 6 weeks long and we are cramming 16 weeks worth of information into 6 weeks.

Anyway, the class does seem pretty interesting. We learn the importance of food sustainability, whether it’s finding eco-friendly ways to growing plants to eating local. Eating foods grown locally in the area is a huge trend right now. Some concepts, like Farm to Fork, is popular. We also learn about the food service industry and management.

Anyway, for our class, we have a huge project at the end. We have to make about 100-200 “to-go”  meals, depending how many orders we get. We have to create a menu, test it, and then see if it’s good. Then, we advertise and we get orders coming in ready for the end of the semester. What’s cool is that we will be growing some of our own herbs and plants.

At the school that I attend, Sac State, we have a program called STORC. I forgot what the acronym stands for. However, it’s based on finding eco-friendly ways to do things. For our class, we want to find a sustainable way to grow our herbs and plants. In our case, we are using something called aquaponics (hydroponics). I’ve never heard of it before until we toured the facility.

Aquaponics, in VERY SIMPLE TERMS, is basically growing plants with  feces of aquatic animals. Here is the link to the wikipedia page on aquaponics. Basically, the water from the tank with the aquatic creatures excretions are in it, is moved to wear the bacteria can convert the ammonia from the excretions into nitrite into nitrate. Ammonia is toxic to plants but the bacteria “filter” it by converting it into nutrients that plants can use. The roots of the plants touch the water. It’s basically eco-friendly, as the water goes into cycles.

Here’s a picture of an aquaponics system my STORC has.

20150603_110733They have more complicated systems but I thought it’d be best to show their display, which is a very basic system. You ca also use this type of system to grown herbs and vegetables in your own yard!

I’ll discuss more about the meal project later.

What’s your thoughts on food sustainability?

Fitness Friday 24

Happy Friday everyone! How are you guys doing today? I’m doing great, thank you very much.

I know that my vlog I posted yesterday was a bit weird and I was nervous! I won’t be on my next vlog. It is weird because I was able to record for my Spanish project back in high school. I wasn’t as nervous, you can say. You guys can watch it here, if you want. I warn you about the very beginning.You can skip the first 20-30 seconds. We chose a short story we read in AP Spanish and recorded our own video of it. We chose Jaque Mate en Dos Jugadas.

Anyway, I am here to post my workouts. Here are my workouts for the week. I might do yoga later today but it depends if I have time. I have a lot of studying to do for my midterm!

Fitness Friday 6-20-14

And, here is part of my table that I use to study.

Helen - Notes

I love drawing diagrams and learning about how all the macro nutrients and alcohol are digested and absorbed. I also love learning all the processes, hormones and everything involved in metabolism.  It is a lot of information to learn in just 6 weeks (16 chapters) and we’re half way done so far. It is a lot of fun though!  We’ll be learning more about vitamins and minerals after the mid-term.

There are other diagrams I drew, including the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA), also known as Kreb’s Cycle or Citric Acid Cycle and the Electron Transport Chain, to name a few.

 Please enjoy this picture of me in a dress (just to make things a bit more fun here). I was debating whether to buy the dress but since I want to save money, I decided to not buy it. I think it looks nice. It looks better in person though.


Please excuse my face.

Before I end this post, here’s a stretching you guys should try.

How was your week?

How were your workouts this week?

Fitness Friday 23

Happy Friday the 13th, everyone! How are you guys doing on this fine day?

I’m doing great, thank you very much. I ran 6 miles today, which was nice. I planned on running 6 miles yesterday but the it was too windy. The weather has been strange the past week. The beginning of the week was like an oven, over 100 F. Then, it became breezy and cool later on in the week. It is strange. The weather here is bipolar, I’m telling you.

Anyway, before I get distracted about talking about the weather, here are my workouts for the week.

Fitness Friday 6-13-14


As you see, I did manage to incorporate yoga into one day. Hopefully, I will do yoga tomorrow, on my birthday!

I used to practice yoga almost every single day. I let other exercises take over. I could improve on  balancing out my exercise: cardio, strength, and flexibility. I need more work on flexibility, though my whole palm of my hand can touch the ground when I bend over. I don’t bend my knees either when I do it.

This week has been quite busy, especially with volunteering, my summer class, and attending graduations. Oh, and a lot of cake and ice cream and going out to eat because of graduations and birthdays!

We covered 4 chapters this week and we have to do a write-up for our Diet Analysis. I am enjoying my summer class though. This week, we learned how carbohydrates, lipids, protein, and alcohol are digested and metabolized in the body.

Anyway, I guess that is it for now. I dare you to take a yoga class and see how you like it. It’ll be a good experience.

How were your workouts this week?

What are your thoughts on yoga?

Fitness Friday 22

Happy Friday everyone. How are you guys doing today? I’m doing great, thank you very much. Before I get any further along with my “boring” life details, here are my workouts for the week.

Fitness Friday 6-06-14

I decided to take a rest day today just because I am busy today. I’m typing this post up quickly before I have to head off again!

Since this is the summer, you guys can also look up workout videos online. Tone It Up has a lot of workout videos you guys can try.

In other news, I am liking my Nutrition and Metabolism class. We are covering 3-4 chapters a week, which is a lot. But, it’s all so interesting. It is a 6 week course, so we have to cover all the material in that time frame.

I guess that’s it for now before I head off.  íAdios!

How were your workouts this week? 

Have you taken summer classes?