US (VT): Aquaponic farm in full swing in Franklin County

During blisteringly cold days in Franklin County, a veritable oasis lies in the Cold Hollow Mountains between Enosburg and Bakersfield: the “Finn & Roots” aquaponics greenhouse farm.

First built in 2014 by Shawn and Elizabeth Robinson and sold to the current owners in 2019, the system uses the water from three tanks full of tilapia to cycle nutrients through pipes to feed greens, herbs, and cucumbers. Now, the farm is owned and operated by Holly Counter Beaver, her husband, Vincent Beaver, and her sister Heather Counter. 

The trio moved from Colorado, working in tech and healthcare before deciding to go in on the aquaponics farm after seeing it for sale online. While they might not have any direct farm experience, Counter Beaver said her family in Colorado are fifth-generation farmers.

The sisters are focused entirely on the farm, while Vincent Beaver keeps working remotely at the same job from Colorado until the farm’s finances are steadier. Working in high-tech and user experience for 25 years, Counter Beaver said the farm is the perfect challenge for her, balancing the water systems, grow lights, and harvest cycles before finally selling to specialty grocery stores in northern Vermont.


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