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A Chicago Aquaponics Update


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Earlier this winter I wrote a story for the Chicago magazine Mindful Metropolis about the possibility of urban farmers to start farming with aquaponics in Chicago (read the full article here). One of the people I interviewed for the story is John Edel, an entrepreneur who hopes to convert a large, unused building into a vertical farm with aquaponics grow beds.

When I met Edel in November, he took me to another building he had rehabbed in Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood. Edel showed the basement where he hoped to start experimenting with some small-scale aquaponics with the help of some Illinois Institute of Technology students, but none of the systems had been finished when I visited.

Recently, I got an update from Edel, along with these neat wide-angle photos of the kits he's working on. "The system keeps improving, we have 100 tilapia fingerlings in the tank now and aeroponics above," Edel says. There's no word yet on whether Edel will be able to obtain the property he's been eying, or how soon he'd be able to get his vertical farming operation off the ground, but he's hopeful that it will happen sometime this year.

You can keep up with Edel's project by following his blog, The Plant Chicago.

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