To go inside the production facility at 302 Aquaponics on Simms Woods Road near U.S. 1, visitors must wash their hands and walk through a disinfecting shoe bath to make sure no dangerous foreign biological entities infect its facility.
In a large greenhouse, the company — owned by Doug and Katie Wood — grows multiple types of organic lettuce and tilapia in a self-contained system. The fish live at one end of the growing space. The water that they live in circulates out to large tanks where different varieties of lettuce grow. The lettuces are planted into holes in floating structures that provide support and allow their roots to reach into the nutrient-rich water.
As the plants mature and are harvested, the floating beds are pushed forward to make room for new seedlings. The couple – both former educators — started their venture about three years ago.
“Doug would go out in the van and make deliveries in neighborhoods until we got a big enough base where we could set up times and places for stops. We got into farmer’s markets. That we never expected to do,” Ms. Wood said.
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