Prescott man opens aquaponics business
PRESCOTT--Aquaponics? What the heck is aquaponics?
It’s a question Tim Doose has to have answered more than once as the Prescott man opened Doose Aquaponics this month in the former Prescott Greenhouse building on Hampshire Street.
As explained on his website (www.dooseaquaponics.com), aquaponics is a system for farming fish and plants together in a cycle. Fish are kept in large tanks and the plants are grown hydroponically (i.e., without soil). They are planted in beds, where their roots hang down in water. The water is cycled through the system, collecting the “waste” from the fish. It is then pumped to the plant beds, where it is filtered naturally by the plants and then returned to the fish tanks. Unlike traditional farming methods, no chemical fertilizers are needed for the plants; they all come from the fish waste.
The last sentence is what caught Doose’s attention when initially researching on the internet. He was first seeking information on hydroponics, which adds chemicals or nutrients to the water. After seeing aquaponics didn’t, he gave aquaponics a try and was sold.
“Seeing how the tomatoes were bigger and redder,” said Doose, when asked for evidence. “Doose Aquaponics is committed to growing your vegetables without herbicides or pesticides and supplying you with vegetables, as available, all four seasons of the year.”
Doose has lived in Prescott for the last 15 years with his wife Shawn. The Red Wing native previously worked for Braun Turf Farms in Hampton, Minn., and currently works for County Line Aggregate in Rosemount, Minn., as a heavy equipment operator, where he winters off.
Doose’s gardening interest started during those winter months, as Shawn wanted fresh vegetables. He built greenhouses at the couple’s Pearl Street home and the hobby grew more and more until he was able to lease the greenhouse site.
Doose said, throughout the tours he has given, the general reaction has been amazement on how the process works and then seeing the end results given on how the fresh vegetables look. Those tours have also included teachers from the Prescott School District, who are thinking about using aquaponics for school projects.
Currently, Doose Aquaponics is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m., on the weekends. For more information, visit its website or call (651) 492-6468.