Lauren Ann Davies | email@example.com
Two fish farms are expected to open this summer, a practice that is newly legal, thanks to the passage of the city’s Urban Agriculture Ordinance on April 15. The city is now working to establish a process for fish farms to get a permit.
Located near Boston Edison, the two fish farms, Food Field and Central Detroit Christian Farm and Fishery, are nearly finished building facilities that will hold thousands of fish — talapia, catfish and blue gill — to be sold to local businesses and residents.
Central Detroit Christian Farm and Fishery (CDC) is situated in an unassuming 6,000-square foot building at 8500 Second Avenue.
The Christian nonprofit, which works on education, employment and economic development in central Detroit, is best-known for projects like Peaches And Greens, which sells locally grown fruits and vegetables in Boston Edison while employing neighborhood residents.
When the former Corey’s Market property was donated to Central Detroit Christian, the group wanted to operate another business that would benefit the community, and settled on a type of fish farming called aquaponics.
Aquaponics refers to any arrangement where plants and fish are part of the same water system. In these cases, the fish and plants are in separate containers and water cycles between them. Fish waste makes good plant food, and plants help keep the water clean for the fish, so the plants and fish help each other grow. Aquaponics systems are known for being self-sustaining. The only thing regularly required to keep an aquaponics system running is fish food.
The system sounds a bit like a mad scientist’s lab, but really just mimics a simplified pond in boxes.
The plants of CDC fish farm are in 1,350 square feet of plastic-lined wooden tanks set up across the main floor of the building. It’s designed so that the beds are not filled with soil but rather herbs and greens that float on water, held up by floating sheets of foam board called expanded polystyrene, or EPS. The plant roots float directly in the water.