Through a growing method called Aquaponics, they combine fish and hydroponic farming, creating fresh and sustainable produce. Aqua Vita has been in business for a little over a year and is already getting ready to expand. Eyewitness News reporter Rachel Polansky visited Aqua Vita Farms. You're about to get an exclusive tour of their unique growing process and upcoming expansions - with a story you'll only see on Eyewitness News.
"Using Aquaponics which is a farming method that has been understood by man for thousands of years, where fish create the nutrients that are used to grow plants hydroponically. What you see in front of you is a variety of different baby heirloom lettuces that are just a few days away from being harvested, then distribute them to local restaurants all over Central New York and the Mohawk Valley," says Mark Doherty, President of Aqua Vita.
Aquaponics is often described as "we feed the fish, the fish feed the plants, and then the plants clean the water." Under every set of plants, is a healthy, white set of roots.
"We're the first commercial scale Aquaponic farm in the Northeast and so everyday we're learning ways to handle our fish and plants and process things and just getting better every day, that's really our goal," says Doherty.
"We're gonna go from 500 pounds a week to about 1200 pounds a week as part of current expansions, and then we're also building a breeding system where we're going to be breeding blue tilapia in house to replenish our needs and hopefully stock some operations as well with our in house bred blue tilapia. This expansion will allow us to further that goal and allow us to get more of our lettuce product and basil product out to Central New York. We found a home that we truly love, and we encourage people to follow in our footsteps and open up shop here," says Doherty.
Aqua Vita's expansions are set for the coming months.