Aquaponics combines conventional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water.) “It’s all about trying to grow healthy food in a way that minimizes production impact on the environment.” Gottsacker stated. The salmon and trout are to be raised from egg to harvest in fiberglass tanks in a nearly 1- acre facility, with the nutrient-rich water from the tanks being filtered and used for growing plants in a massive, 2 ½ -acre greenhouse. Gottsacker said “The strategy is to create a premium food product from what other fish farmers think of as waste."
“We just love the idea of raising a premium species, something that is healthy for you. These are about as healthy as you can get,” said Gottsacker.
As for the greenhouse, because leafy greens are a high-turnover product with a short lifespan, it takes only 35 to 40 days to grow many varieties. They are going to be creating the greatest growing environment year round. “We want to give retailers the opportunity to tell us what they need, what might be in short supply, and we can have it ready ahead of time.” Gottsacker stated.
“Our long-term goal is to provide a model that can feed a lot of people with premium, safe, organic produce year-round anywhere in the world and on very little water.” He said.
The business is expecting to have between 25 to 30 full-time employees. For bio-security reasons, employees at one building will not work at the other. The site has two wells on the property that have been tested and are contaminant free. Eventually natural gas will be extended to the site.
“We’ve worked very closely with the DNR on this project. They seem to be excited about it - that this model is what they want to see. They are excited about technologies and how we are reusing water.” Gottsacker said. When asked how much the project will fully cost, he stated it was in the millions.
Read the entire article at: http://www.leadertelegram.com/News/Front-Page/2016/05/14/New-business-dives-nbsp-into-aquaponics.html
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