Weekly Harvest 11/17/17

Happy Friday!

In this week’s harvest, we check in on all the schools receiving systems. We harvest our first week of FreshCSA shares off the farm, spend a day in the life with a FreshCSA customer, learn how to maintain the proper environment for the microbes in an aquaponics system and see what’s new around the industry.

This Week’s Harvest:

1. Client Updates – A.I. Prince Tech 

We added fish this week and began the process of adding plants into the Prince Tech aGrow systems this week. They received some red butter lettuce to start off their system while it finishes cycling. We like to stick with greens in the early days of a system as the fish have not populated the system with tons of nutrients yet, and greens are not huge uptakers of nutrients.

2. Trifecta Updates

This Week’s Harvest

This week’s FreshCSA members received the following in their shares:

  • Red and Green Butter Leaf Lettuce
  • Red and Green Oak Leaf Lettuce
  • Cherokee Crisp Red Lettuce
  • Nevada Crisp Green Leaf Lettuce
  • Dwarf Siberian Kale

In addition to our farm’s harvest, we included Bell Peppers and Butternut Squash from Urth Farms in New Britain. Urth Farms is a 3.5-acre organic farm right in downtown New Britain. It is owned by the same owners of the Plan B restaurant so you may have already tried some of their produce without knowing! They grow year-round in 7 greenhouses and we will be featuring some of their winter harvests throughout the season. To learn more about Urth farms, check out their website here.

Company Updates –

This month also marks our fifth year as a business! For those who have been following along from the beginning, you’ll remember we originally started as F.R.E.S.H. Farm Aquaponics, LLC. Our official start date was 11/12/2012, as that’s when we filed to be an LLC. But really we got our start in 2011 when Spencer and Kieran began tinkering with aquaponics in college and brainstorming about the way it could be used to revolutionize our relationship with food.

We made a slight change to the business on 10/1/2014 when we filed to become a CT Benefit Corporation on the first day the state made it eligible to do so. This formalized our commitment to making sure that our business stands for more than just profit and we legally now have to make decisions based on the impact to the environment and the community in addition to our bottom line. This has been dubbed the “Triple-bottom line” and is a direction we are happy to spearhead to show that businesses can be successful and not just be 100% profit driven.

Then on September 1, 2016, we became Trifecta Ecosystems, Inc.  We changed the name for a number of reasons and landed on Trifecta because we created the “Aquaponics Trifecta” as the way we teach aquaponics to students, hobbyists, clients, etc. In addition, Fresh Farm is too broad to be a trademarkable and protected as a company name, so as our company grows from our humble roots we wanted a name that we would be able to take to multiple cities and stand out from all the ‘Farm Fresh’ and ‘Fresh Farm Products’ out there.

3. Blog Updates

Microbes and Filtration Standard Operating Procedures – In this post we cover the very important topic of filtration and microbes in your aquaponics system. Your filtration is generally where your microbes will live and reproduce in your system. These little guys do all the work of converting fish waste into usable fertilizer for the plants. With that in mind, you want to make sure you have bio-media or filtration that supports that goal. In this post, we cover what you should consider when planning a system and our standard operating procedures to make sure our microbes and our plants are getting what they need from our systems.

Guest Blog – Trifecta Ecosystems FreshCSA – The other blog we are featuring this week is actually not one of our own. This week one of our FreshCSA customers, Kip Bergstrom, chronicled his experience with week 1 of our FreshCSA program. Kip is an avid cook who likes to use local in-season ingredients when preparing his meals. He then blogs the dishes he makes and where he got the local goods. Check his blog on our FreshCSA, and if you want to see what he’s making check out his simple salad recipe and his ‘fancy pants’ salad recipe. Thanks Kip for sharing your experience and your delicious creations for all to see!

4. Industry News

Our COO, Andrew Ingalls, was profiled in Northeastern University’s Alumni Magazine –  We actually made the industry news this week, as Andrew was the featured profile in his university’s alumni magazine. Andrew has a unique educational track that ultimately led to him being the perfect COO for our startup. He’s a guy who has many skills and can seamlessly where many hats in his work for Trifecta Ecosystems. To learn more about Andrew, and what brought him into the aquaponics industry check out his feature here.

NOSB Keeps Aquaponics For Organic Labelling – In a vote that had the entire aquaponics industry and hydroponics industry holding their breath, the NOSB voted to keep both methods of farming eligible for organic certification. The decision stemmed from keeping the consumers in mind and understanding that the label has come to mean the food is grown sustainably, without chemicals and harmful pesticides. Aquaponics and hydroponics when done organically easily meet these criteria and the feeling was that soil should not be a limiting factor in informing consumers about how their produce is labeled. Check out our blog to learn more about the vote and our stance on this debate.

5. Featured Event

We’ll be at the Knox 7th Annual Harvest Market in Hartford on Saturday. This is likely your last chance to get a wide variety of farm fresh produce from an amazing collection of CT based farmers. We won’t be selling produce ourselves but will be there showcasing an aquaponics system and taking names of those interested in the next round of FreshCSAs.

We’ve done this event the past few years and its an absolute blast. They’ll be dozens of farmers, music, food and great vibes. Celebrate the fall harvest with us and Knox located at 75 Laurel St, Hartford, CT. To learn more check out their event page here.

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