What’s better than knowing where your fresh fish is coming from? Actually seeing it! Just recently we grabbed local chefs from top restaurants across the Twin Cities to take a tour of Urban Organics, our local Tilapia supplier. Tilapia? In Minnesota? Yes!
Urban Organics is an Aquaponics Farm that has closed loop method of farming right in the city, located in the historic Hamm’s Brewery on the east side of St. Paul. There fish, Tilapia, and plants help each other grow. It starts with a system from Pentair that has four - 3,000 gallon tanks that each holds 1,000 fish. The fish are fed, creating waste and ammonia, the water is circulated out of the tanks and the ammonia is converted to nitrates which the plants absorb out of the water to grow, bringing back clean water to the fish. It’s a closed loop of farming that uses about two percent of water compared to normal farming.
We are able to offer local chefs fresh, locally-sourced fish for their menus. We process and custom cut the Tilapia from Urban Organics all year long. The tours were great –the chefs and our sales team got to see the process first hand and ask questions. The fish were busy swimming and we got to try fresh basil that filled the fresh produce area. It’s a very cool facility – in fact, they were just officially added into the MCIA directory for organic crop producers.
Being there was like a little piece of summer in the middle of a Minnesota winter with the warm air, the fish splashing and green herbs growing all around you.