Professional work experience AKA What working in aquaponics actually looks like
I would like to say a few words about my first few days at the aquaponic farm. You fearfully walk into the new environment and don´t really know what´s in store for you. In the end it´s not a disaster, it´s just a simple measurement. This becomes automatic within a few days. Every day it is necessary to measure important values such as water temperature, air temperature, humidity, pH, nitrate and nitrite content, and last but not least, ammonia.
This does not cost a lot of effort, and the possibility of ruining something is very low. Of course, you may miscalculate the drops and become unsure about whether you gave 5 or 4, but that is not a big deal. In the beginning, you need to pay close attention to everything, but over time this process becomes so natural that you can work even with your eyes closed. Once you have mastered it, there is also some manual work to do because – as one very wise man taught me – an aquaponic person must be a jack-of-all-trades. For example, the construction of an outdoor set in the form of the letter A.
To harmonise everything, both aesthetically and functionally, we had to put in a lot of effort, sweat, long working hours and overtime. Painting tubes, gluing and assembling them. The nerve-racking moment came when we let water run through the pipes for the first time. That´s when you find out whether you have glued everything together reliably and if there is no leakage. The system had to be ready by a certain date because it would serve as a visual aid for teaching and training new enthusiasts in aquaponics – a hobby that Forbes magazine described as the profession of the future.
I am not very skilled with my hands, so I was very grateful to my mentor, colleague and friend who was supporting me throughout my work experience placement. He was not afraid to let me do manual work because gaining first-hand experience is the only guaranteed way to learn new skills. Thank you Mirek Fojtík for all that you taught me and for creating a pleasant work environment, which also often served as the setting for post-work relaxation with pizza.
Finally, I would like to thank Future Farming s.r.o., which mediated the entire professional work experience placement, as well as Flenexa Plus s.r.o.