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US (WI): Aquaponics growers looking to cash in

The farmland along Sun Valley Parkway east of Paoli is still fertile soil for corn, soybeans, alfalfa and other traditional crops.

But a 120-acre farm established in the 1800s along a rail line that is now the Badger State Trail is trying to make a year-round business out of lettuce, herbs and micro greens, thanks to a greenhouse, tanks of tilapia and the entrepreneurial drive of its owners and small staff.

Clean Fresh Foods is the creation of Mike and Dagny Knight, who are skipping the dirt. Instead, their aquaponics farm uses tanks and troughs of well water in an attempt to reach profitability, capitalize on the local food movement and provide fresh greens to restaurants, grocery stores and institutions, even when their Dane County property is smothered in February snow.

“I think we’re just on the edge of profitability,” said Dagny Knight, a former nurse. “If we can figure out this micro greens piece and get into the farmers market niche, that would be a good step in the right direction. We’re just so close to breaking through that profitability mark.”

Read more at Madison Wisconsin Business News (Barry Adams)

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