Maine company farms year-round using organiponics at UMaine aquaculture center
For 18 years, Jeff Walls of Stockton Springs has been on a mission to find a viable way to farm in Maine year-round. His solution? To farm using a method called organiponics. Organiponics combines gardening with hydroponics, a method of growing plants in water without soil. In Walls’ system, waste from rainbow trout and worms provides nutrients to grow plants like kale, tomatoes and strawberries. In the process, plants filter the water for the fish, and excess waste from the fish and plant production feeds the worms. The result is a sustainable food system that produces vegetables and fish for consumption. Walls’ company, Applied Ponic Technologies, is housed in Greenhouse #4 at the University of Maine’s Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research (CCAR) in Franklin. Located on Taunton Bay, CCAR’s extensive facility houses a variety of fish hatcheries and aquaculture business incubators where entrepreneurs can get help with their business plans, secure investment capital and design full-scale commercial fishery farms. In this video, Walls talks about his food system and how CCAR has been an invaluable resource in helping him get his business started. To learn more, visit ccar.um.maine.edu.
For more information about these and other innovation and economic development initiatives at UMaine, visit umaine.edu/econdev.