We founded Fluid Farms in 2012 after breeding tilapia in a spare bedroom of a downtown Portland apartment.. In the beginning, aquaponics was a hobby for us. We were just interested in seeing how it worked and what we could grow. However, after two seasons of growing produce for ourselves and a few local restaurants, we felt that it was the right time for expansion into the commercial market.
That’s why in March 2013, we launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to build our first commercial greenhouse. The Kickstarter campaign was energizing and spurred us to grow more fresh, clean food for our community. We then took our greens to the local southern Maine markets while we further developed the model and our understanding of it.
In the Fall of 2013, we were presented with a once in a lifetime opportunity. We were offered a massive Dutch style greenhouse in exchange for dismantling it. It was an intimidating project, especially with one of Maine’s coldest winters on record fast approaching. With little money and a borrowed tractor, we began to dismantle this 36,000 ft2 glass beast, pane by pane. Jackson quit his job as a mechanical engineer and went full time into deconstruction over the next 6 months.We recruited as many friends and family to help as we could and we spent the long, cold winter scraping ice off the glass panes and gently packaging them in wooden crates.
We packed the dismantled greenhouse into a storage barn and are in the process of re-erecting it to become Maine’s largest aquaponic greenhouse. Fluid Farms spent the summer of 2014 refining our methods, growing lots of lettuce and tilapia, and most importantly, understanding how to market and sell our products. We are excited for the future and appreciative of the support that we have received from our community. Stay tuned for the next phase of Fluid Farms’ journey as we expand to become a fully realized commercial grower of aquaponic produce.