US (MN): Urban Organics continues to expand

Winter is around the corner in Minnesota, bringing freezing temperatures, plenty of snow and an abrupt end to the outdoor growing season.

But at Urban Organics, an 87,000-square-foot aquaponics farm in St. Paul, vertical fields of snappy fresh greens and herbs thrive under an artificial sun. Salmon and arctic char, in plentiful numbers, will swim against the current in massive, round tanks. Both fish and produce will provide fresh, local options for grocers and restaurateurs who would otherwise be forced to bring in such products from far away.

Three-plus months after debuting in its new, vastly larger location, Urban Organics continues to expand its operation — with the capacity to churn out 7,000 pounds of fish a week (up from a mere 100 pounds per week at its first location) along with about 10,000 pounds of produce (up from 250 pounds).

And with a warehouse full of 25,000-gallon tanks and skyward-reaching trays of lettuce, kale, Swiss chard, arugula, basil and parsley, Urban Organics — which the WateReuse Association just named 2017 agricultural project of the year, a national award — is doing so in a very green way.

Read more at the Star Tribune (Amelia Rayno)

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