By Marie Zhuikov
Last week, a small cadre of Wisconsin Sea Grant communicators visited an aquaponics facility in Montello, Wis., to learn more about this intriguing way to grow food. The types of food involved are fish and plants – walleye and tilapia, and just about any type of veggie one can imagine. This alone would be cool, but what’s even more notable is that the water used in the system is recirculated and reused, thanks to the wonders of bacteria and a specialized filter system.
The facility houses joint operations by Nelson and Pade Inc., and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Nelson and Pade sells aquaponics systems commercially, along with the fishy and veggie fruits of their labor. They also provide aquaponics classes and training in their system. UW-Stevens Point conducts research into new aquaponics methods. The day we visited, the UW staff were excited for an impending delivery of walleye for their system from their sister program, the Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility in Red Cliff, Wis., for which Wisconsin Sea Grant provides staffing support.