Finding fresh produce in grocery stores during the winter can tend to be a struggle at times but with aquaponics producing fresh greens can be done year round.
Aquaponics is a form of agriculture that takes raising fish in tanks and combines it with hydroponics with its soilless plant culture. The water from raising the fish is filled with nutrients which then provides a natural fertilizer for the plants. In return the plants help purify the water for the fish.
Swanky Roots is a business in Billings that specializes in aquaponics and sees the benefits of this type of agriculture everyday.
Owner of Swanky Roots Veronnaka Evenson says "we're able to grow a head of lettuce with seven times less lettuce than out in the field. We're also able to grow really efficiently as well, getting more plants in a given growing season in our facility. And then we're not using any chemicals so we're not adding in fertilizers, we don't need any pesticides, herbicides its just a real, clean, healthy product."
With the greens being raised in a greenhouse, it allows them to grow in ideal conditions.
"The plants are in their like perfect environment. They're very happy, they're getting all the water, all the nutrients, the light they could want. And so it just helps for them to last a really long time."
With Swanky Roots being a local business, it adds another unique element in providing fresh greens for the customers.
"Another this that's really great is it's not being transported from far distances. Meaning from our greenhouse to the stores right here in town is only a few minutes, so you're not losing that shelf life of it being trucked from far away places," says Evenson.
If you are interested to see how aquaponics works, you can schedule a tour with Swanky Roots to see their greenhouse and aquaponic facility.