This past Wednesday, I had the pleasure of exploring a hidden gem in Milwaukee. Sweet Water Organics is a local company based in Bay View that is commercializing Will Allen‘s aquaponic system. Aquaponics is the method of growing crops and fish together in a re-circulating system. They had an “open house” and perch auction to not only generate some cash for the business but to also show off their digs.
Nicole and I hung out there for just under two hours. Among others, we spoke with Jesse Hull, the man responsible for keeping Sweet Water operational and its lead horticulturist. Not only did he blow me away with his knowledge of plants, our conversation ranged from the 5-second rule to using grow lights for heat transfer. It was very stimulating to chat with him and I look forward to talking with him in the future.
Sweet Water Organics has great connections with many local chefs and restaurants. They’re all about the miles to market mantra, where they try to provide local, sustainable ingredients. They are looking to have retail operations in the future, that will allow you to buy fresh produce and fish directly from them. Until that happens, you’ll be able to buy fish at upcoming auctions like the one they just had.
The vibe I felt while there was similar to how Lakefront Brewery felt in its early days. There’s an excitement in the air and everyone knows that Sweet Water Organics is not only a benefit to the people but also the community. Interesting to note, Lakefront provided a keg of delicious beer for all to enjoy while they mingled throughout the building.