Bridging the Future with the Past
In 2010, a local family purchased the picturesque former dairy farm in Belleville, Wisconsin where Clean Fresh Food operates. First and foremost, they restored and updated the original buildings and ensured that the 100+ acres of certified organic land continued to be farmed by a neighboring organic dairy farmer.
Next, with entrepreneurial spirit, they began designing and building a state-of-the-art aquaponics system, nestled among the barn and the hog sheds, and converted the former milk house to a fry house for rearing young fish. The system initially came online in 2013 and reached full production capacity in Autumn 2015.
HOW IT WORKS
AQUAPONICS is a centuries old growing technique that utilizes the abundant and natural nutrients discharged by fish to grow plants. Water from the fish tanks serves as organic fertilizer for the produce, while the plants’ roots clean the water before its return back to the tanks.
Clean Fresh Food uses a floating raft system of aquaponics. We have 6 800-square foot troughs of water, on top of which sit hundreds of rafts to hold the plants. Seedlings are placed into holes drilled into the 1 ¼” thick rafts that rest on top of the water. The rafts are pushed forward along the trough over the life of the plant and finally harvested when they reach the end.
The same water that flows within the troughs circulates through 12 1200-gallon fish tanks in the next room. There are two pumps that send the water up to the fish tanks before gravity moves the water through the bio-filtration units, into the troughs filled with plant roots, and finally back to the pumps that move the clean water up to the fish.
Inputs to the system are custom-manufactured fish feed, electricity for the water pumps, air compressors, cooling fans and circulation fans, propane for the greenhouse heaters, and wood to warm the water in winter. (And, of course, our labor!)
Our products are currently available at the following venues: