local food systems
In 2008, Josh Fraundor and Jim Godsil co-founded Sweet Water Organics, a for-profit organic fish and vegetable farm built inside a former crane manufacturing building. Located in the Bay View area of Milwaukee, this urban agriculture business uses a sustainable aquaponics system to raise approximately 35,000 Perch and 20,000 Tilapia, and produce a variety of leafy greens. Along with its aquaponics system, Sweet Water has integrated an outdoor greenhouse operation to provide additional organic produce to the local market.
That’s how Fort Lauderdale Vegetables LLC, a company that is focused on the development of a sustainable urban farming system that will create a network of secure healthy food sources and provide local jobs and vocational training in the sustainable agricultural industry, came into being in 2010.
The newly established Recirculating Farms Coalition (RFC) has launched a national campaign to promote the growing of local, fresh food and the creation of green jobs. The organization, which counts educators, farmers, chefs, non-profit groups and others among its members, seeks to achieve its objectives by focusing on the development of eco-friendly recirculating farms.
For reference, the organization defines a recirculating farm as one that uses clean recycled water, rather than soil, as a basis to grow food. These farms can grow plants (hydroponics), fish (aquaculture), or both plants and fish together (aquaponics).
Participants in the Trinity Avenue Farm Design Competition are vying to change the view from Atlanta’s City Hall. The competition, open to Georgia residents, calls for design entries to transform a 0.8 acre lot on Trinity Avenue in downtown Atlanta from a patchy lawn to a working urban farm, and offers a $25,000 award for the winning design team.
Andrew Chew, of Atlifield Design, is on one of about thirty design teams thus far registered for the competition. Chew’s design will draw on his experience in organic agriculture, small-scale urban food production, and community gardening.