Company Mixes Fish, flora in Aquaponics

The Country Today
February, Feb 24, 2010
By Sara Bredesen

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MONTELLO – Tomatoes and tilapia, peppers and perch, cukes and cod. Diners might think they are catchy combos on a dinner menu, but forward-thinking vegetable growers are starting to look twice at pairing fish and flora in a watery ecosystem called aquaponics.

“My whole life I raised fish. When we realized we could combine fish and hydroponics, the first thing I did was start putting little hydroponic grow beds on top of my fish tanks,” said Rebecca Nelson, a partner in Nelson and Pade Aquaponic Technology based in Marquette County.

Nelson and her husband, John Pade, are Wisconsin natives but are known internationally as experts on floating raft aquaponics systems. They have consulted on technology in more than 20 countries and have designed systems that are operating across the United States.

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The Spotless Garden

New York Times
February 18, 2010
Home and Garden Section
By Michael Tororello

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“In the United States, aquaponics is in its fingerling stage, yet it seems to be increasing in popularity. Rebecca Nelson, 45, half of the company Nelson & Pade, publishes the Aquaponics Journal and sells aquaponics systems in Montello, Wis. While she refused to disclose exact sales figures, Ms. Nelson said that subscriptions have doubled every year for the last five years, and now number in the thousands. Having published the Aquaponics journal> worked in the industry since 1997, leading workshops and consulting with academics, she estimates that there may be 800 to 1,200 aquaponics set-ups in American homes and yards and perhaps another 1,000 bubbling away in school science classrooms.”

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City Approves Zoning for Aquaponics Business

Marquette County Tribune
February, Feb 04, 2010
By Kathleen McGwinn

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The Montello Mayor’s Advisory Committee approved the rezoning of residential land to industrial to accommodate Nelson Pade, Inc. a California aquaponics design and consulting business relocating to Montello.  The land, on the south side of Highway 23 west of Montello was originally zoned business, and when the former owners moved, rezoned residential.  The change will return it to industrial zoning.  Twenty people attended the city committee meeting in support of the rezoning.

Newly located just outside of Montello, Wisconsin, Nelson and Pade, Inc. is one of world’s leading authorities on aquaponics.  The husband and wife team of Rebecca Nelson and John Pade returned to their home state of Wisconsin after living in California for 20 years, and before that, in the Caribbean.  This dynamic couple can’t seem to stop reinventing themselves and from their love of water, fish, and the environment, coupled with their adventuresome spirit, came the development of their system sales and international consulting and design business.