Maquoketa Business Sees Growth In Producing Fish And Produce - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Maquoketa Business Sees Growth In Producing Fish And Produce

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A family-owned business in Maquoketa is creating quite the buzz. Owners are expanding after just a couple of years with long term goals to sell and supply their product on a larger scale.

In a machine shed on the edge of Maquoketa is a growing business venture which grows two things: produce and fish.

"We take the water from the fish and run it through a bio-filter which turns ammonia which fish excrete into nitrates that plants take up into the roots as food," said Matt Andresen, co-owner of Tri-M Aquaponics.

The plants clean the water which is then sent back to the fish and the self-sustaining cycle continues. Andresen started experimenting with aquaponics while studying marine biology in college and then got his older brother and sister on board.

They began selling their products at the local farmers market where others are excited for the growth they've seen in just the last couple of years.

"It just signals good things in the future if they can up their capacity. I don't know of anybody that doesn't like tilapia," said Ted Strait, Manager of the Maquoketa Farmers Market.

The siblings plan to blend their work at Tri-M Aquaponics with their other business. They opened up Brick Tap bar and grill last August where they can serve up some of their goods. Taking it even further, Andresen says there are plans to branch out and sell the surplus. He's thinking about the new food co-op that opened in Dubuque. In the last couple of years Tri-M Aquaponics has raised more than 2,000 fish and the system can produce about 24 heads of lettuce a day.

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