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DIY Greens Bubbler

This by far has been the most beneficial DIY piece of equipment we have completed for the Nature Cycle Market Garden! This piece has saved incredible amounts of time washing our greens after harvest, increased the quality as we aren't having to touch the leaves during washing and they aren't being crushed against the sides of a basket and while the produce is being washed in the bubbler other tasks can be completed. All in all a real win on our harvest days and a massive help in maintaining our harvest to delivery in 24 hours as the quantities increase, it is hard to get fresher than that!

To see some more DIY projects for the Market Garden, check out:

  1. DIY Worm Bin
  2. DIY Bokashi Bucket
  3. Building an Upcycled Compost Pit
  4. Composting in the Market Garden
  5. DIY Bug Hotel

Considerations:

  • This is a piece of equipment that incorporates water, electricity and a pressurized vacuum into the one system. Play it safe and follow all necessary safety precautions.
  • The Air Blower needs to remain above the water line to ensure backflow of water doesn't infiltrate the Air Blower. Maintaining the Air Blower at least 1m above the water line should mitigate backflow.
  • Remove the Air Blower and store it safely between each use rather than leave it on top of the Greens Bubbler.
  • Using an ICB requires a large volume of water, while this system does have a tap outlet to remove water for garden use it will go stagnant if left over time. We use a sump pump and remove the water to another tank for later use to avoid any potential pathogen build up in stagnant water.

Materials:

  • Food Grade ICB
  • 5mx 32mm PVC pressure piping
  • 8x 32mm PVC pressure piping elbow joiners
  • 5x 32mm PVC pressure piping T joiners
  • 300w Spa Air Pump
  • Untreated Structural Pine
  • Grinder
  • Metal Cutting disc
  • Wood Cutting disc
  • Grinding Disc
  • Drill
  • 19mm Spade Bit
  • Bricks

Instructions:

Washing Bay:

  1. Measure 20mm above the 2nd rung of the ICB metal cage and mark a line the entirety around the cage.
  2. Using the metal cutting disc on the grinder, cut through the metal cage along the marked lines.
  3. Being careful of the sharp edges along the cut line, remove the top half of the cage. You won't need it anymore for this project.
  4. Grind/file flush all the cut edges of the cage.
  5. Mark a line around the entirety of the ICB tank along the 2nd rung of the ICB cage
  6. Take the tank out of the metal cage. Using the wood cutting disc on the grinder, cut along the line until the ICB tank is cut in two, from here on you will only need the bottom section.
  7. Clean the tank thoroughly. Sand the top edge to remove any sharp edges and plastic debris.
  8. Replace the plastic insert into the metal cage.
  9. Square up the metal cage as much as possible. We just used truck tie down ratchets and mallets, they worked well.
  10. Measure the individual widths of the cage.
  11. Cut the Non-treated Structural into the measured cage widths.
  12. Lay each piece on top of the cage and draw the locations of each 20mm cage 'tooth'.
  13. Using a 19mm spade bit drill 20mm deep holes into each of the marked locations.
  14. Lay the pieces back on the cage placing the teeth into the drilled holes. Fasten pieces together. We chose a box cut to keep a bit more rigidity in the join but a bevel cut would also work well.

Bubbler:

  1. Cut 5 lengths of 32mm PVC piping to 100cm.
  2. Cut 6 lengths of 32mm PVC piping to 12cm.
  3. Using 4x 100cm lengths, 4x 12cm lengths, the PVC elbow joiners and 2x T joiners, create 2 rectangles.
  4. Using 2x 12cm lengths, 1x 100cm length and a T joiner make a large T. Place the 2x 12cm lengths into the top of the tee and the 100cm length into the base.
  5. Attach the open socket from the T pieces in the rectangle onto the 12cm ends of the large T.
  6. Hammer all the joiners together.
  7. Lay the PVC into the bubbler, rectangles at the bottom.
  8. Attach bricks to the base of the rectangles to mitigate the PVC floating.
  9. Attach the Air Blower to the top of the extended pole from the T piece adjoining the rectangles.

This really is the DIY piece de resistance of the greens washing world. For the price it costs, the efficiency and quality increases are far worth the outlay. Have fun, good luck and show how yours turns out!

To see some more DIY projects for the Market Garden, check out:

  1. DIY Worm Bin
  2. DIY Bokashi Bucket
  3. Building an Upcycled Compost Pit
  4. Composting in the Market Garden
  5. DIY Bug Hotel