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A New Beginning: 2017

It’s been an interesting year so far, to say the least.
Metro Farms has been busy chugging along with our year-round germinations, transfers, harvests, and of course, new crop plans for the year. We offer starts for nurseries and farmers, as well as individual starts for gardeners to purchase at the market. The plans are precise and minute. When to start which particular plant and how long it takes for them to be ready and under what conditions is no breezy task. We give mad props to our Greenhouse Manager Ashley for doing the math and creative undertaking of crop organization.
We’ve seen a lot of articles lately about how hydroponics/ aquaponics shouldn’t be considered organic, and we respect the arguments against us. Rebuilding soil is essential to the future of farming and the health of our food system and planet as a whole. But we also have to work with what we’ve got. In the city, you have to be resourceful. We have space, and sun, and concrete, and water, and with a little time and ingenuity, we’ve created a huge, soilless farm that grows nutritionally dense greens and tilapia using a fraction of the water of traditional farms. And the fact that 70% of our human population will be living in cities by 2050, (according to Population Reference Bureau ) considering the practicability of urban aquaponics will become more and more relevant to the local food supply. Maybe we aren’t organic, but we don’t use sythentic fertilizers and pesticides and are always keeping our eyes on sustainability.
Aaaand speaking of sustainability, we’ve been working hard to find ways to be more productive and efficient. For us, part of that means being less wasteful. We have to get creative with projects like finding soil with which to fertilize using our Fish Dew TM (we’ve got a never ending supply of doo-doo), finding local butcheries to sell our whole tilapia, and an inventive brewery to take us on for a basil infused hyper-local craft beer. I’d drink to that, wouldn’t you?
Part of a successful business means utilizing all of your resources in the most efficient way. Our greenhouse is 10,000 square feet, and it only covers 1/3 of our lot. Another project we’ve been working on is finding better ways to utilize our space.  A final, very exciting announcement for January 2017 is that we have officially partnered with Avium Flowers! Another local farm will be growing absolutely gorgeous flowers at our location on Chicago Avenue. We are positively budding with excitement to see what they will grow this year!
Come check us out, learn about aquaponics, and see urban farming in action. We’re hosting tours every Saturday through April. Tickets are available for purchase here on our website. For any questions, send an email to andrea@metro-farms.com.