Nov. 29, 2012
-- Starting this week, non-profit GrowNYC's distribution program, Greenmarket Co. will begin delivering to New York City restaurants an Aquaponic Lettuce Mix grown by Aqua Vita Farms in Upstate New York. This one-of-a-kind product will begin appearing on plates throughout the city at restaurants focused on fresh, locally-sourced, high-quality foods, including M. Wells Dinette.
"We're excited to be able to support this farm in its endeavor, and equally pleased to enhance the range of product available to Greenmarket Co.'s customers, " said Marcel Van Ooyen, executive director, GrowNYC. "Aqua Vita's innovative farming practice extends the season in which we are able to offer locally grown greens, a product there is demand for year-round."
Aqua Vita Farms is one of the few aquaponic farms in the country producing on the wholesale level -- using a combination of hydroponics (growing without soil) and aquaculture (fish farming). Within the closed environment system, the fish are fed in holding tanks. The nutrient-rich water is then moved to the plants in beds in the middle of the farm. The plants then soak up all the nutrients and clean the water as they grow.
"We feed the fish, the fish feed the plants, the plants clean the water," said Mark Doherty, founder of Aqua Vita Farms. "The result is a high quality seafood and produce that top chefs are raving about."
Unlike many traditional farms, or even typical hydroponics operations, there are no petrochemical fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides used in Aqua Vita Farms' aquaponic system. And because of the growing method, these products are free of the risks such as e.coli or salmonella inherent to traditional agriculture. Aquaponics also uses 90% less water than traditional soil-based agriculture and is capable of twice the yield.
"Aqua Vita Farms products are all natural, free of pesticides, herbicides, and chemicals, so they taste better, last longer, and are fresher than the alternatives,"
said Doherty. "The really exciting thing about Aqua Vita Farms and the aquaponic farming method is that it seeks to address many of the issues we currently face due to global climate change with regard to pollution, water consumption, and food security. That means, not only are our partner restaurants sourcing the safest, highest quality products for their customers, but they are thinking about future generations."
Though the initial distribution will be their aquaponic lettuce mix, Aqua Vita Farms will also be producing fresh fish. And the Aqua Vita Farms' system can be used to grow almost anything, resulting in fresh, healthy, local produce and seafood year-round.
For more information, contact Cort Ruddy at 315-427-0535, or at firstname.lastname@example.org