Finn & Roots: So Happy Together

lettuce cupsIf necessity breeds invention, then Finn & Roots farm in the far northern corner of Vermont is living, swimming proof of it. Owners Shawn and Liz Robinson raise and grow tilapia and edible greens year round from their self-designed aquaponic system. While the couple didn’t invent the centuries-old technique of combining aquaculture (the raising of aquatic animals), with hydroponics, (the cultivation of plants in water) in a symbiotic environment, they’ve certainly improved upon it with 21-century know-how.

The Robinsons raise tilapia and grow leafy green vegetables, microgreens, herbs and mushrooms out of a structure they dreamed up, called the Eco-Ark. Part solar greenhouse, part underground fish tank, the Eco-Ark was designed and constructed to provide an optimal environment for raising fish, and growing greens even through the harsh Vermont winter. This is no small feat!

In what is truly a controlled environment, vertical and multiple layered growing methods are utilized to cultivate more than 40 times the amount of food that would be possible to produce on an equal-sized plot of land and fish pond. As with any aquaponic system, waste from the fish is utilized as fertilizer for the greens, eliminating any waste run-off. They don’t use any pesticides or herbicides and choose only non-GMO seeds, which are organic whenever possible. Additionally, all of the materials for the building were carefully selected to be sustainable, food safe, rust proof and efficient. Even during the long winter months, specially harvested wood from the property is used to heat the radiant flooring of the Eco-Ark.

All this amounts to a sustainable production of some of the finest, most flavorful greens and healthy fish for local markets. Finn & Roots is an exemplary model of innovation in agriculture and is blazing the path forward for the future of farming in Vermont and elsewhere. Don’t just take our word for it. Once you taste their fish and greens you’ll make Finn & Roots a necessity on your shopping list.