US: Oregon's Farming Fish succesful with self made aquaponic system

The Farming Fish’s aquaponic system is a custom system designed, sourced and constructed by Michael Hasey from scratch. Before starting The Farming Fish Hasey had a long-time passion for all things aquatic and for working with aquatic ecosystems. According to co-owner olivia Hittner, the design and construction of each aquaponic system is entirely dependent upon the intent for which it is built. At The Farming Fish, the intent was to produce a high-quality system capable of producing large amounts of quality food at a reasonable price while remaining economically sustainable.

“Nothing in our system is cheap, but most of it was inexpensive,” said Hittner. “We used all food grade materials as it is a food production system, but reused existing materials and sourced readily available materials as much as possible.”

The Farming Fish produces a plethora of organic products including fish, aquaponic vegetables, earth grown vegetables, herbs, fruits, nuts, eggs and some livestock. The products are sold at local farmer’s markets, to local grocery stores and restaurants, and to regional distributors.

Despite the farm’s success, Hittner is well aware that farming is a “rollercoaster of challenges.” She finds it especially challenging to be a little fish in a big pond, so to speak.

“It’s hard for a small farm to compete in a big business like food, especially in the first few years when making mistakes and learning the hard way,” said Hittner. But ultimately she feels that each challenge they face only makes them more connected to the farm and the community.

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