Will Allen nets a Tilapia at the urban farm Gr...

Image via Wikipedia

Sweet Water Organics is an urban fish and vegetable farm with a big dream. In 2009 a couple of guys from Milwaukee leased a former crane factory, fixed it up, built tanks and planting beds and created an indoor wetland.

The sustainable aquaponics system was inspired by Will Allen, founder of Growing Power, a non-profit urban farming operation. In the re-circulating systems, fish waste acts as a  natural fertilizer for plant growth and plants act as a water filter. Sweet Water wants to expand Will’s vision, and prove this type of venture can be profitable.

The urban fish and vegetable farm currently sells lettuce, basil, peppers, watercress, chard, spinach and perch.  Local restaurants purchase the perch for their Friday fish fries, a long-standing Milwaukee tradition.

Co-founders Josh Fraundorf  and James Godsil have plans to expand this site, add two more sites in Milwaukee and sell 400,000 pounds of perch a year and 800 to 1,000 pounds of produce a week.

Sweet Water Organics is part of  Sweet Water Foundation which seeks to develop intergenerational and interdisciplinary educational programming for sustainability with a focus on the potential of urban agriculture and aquaculture in the 21st century setting.