Update #5 ·

Nourishing Community

The Latin word “victus” means nourishment. And that’s exactly what Victus Farm, a partnership between the University of Minnesota and the small town of Silver Bay, Minn., does. It nourishes the Silver Bay community by creating jobs, organic food and clean energy.

Victus Farm has created a closed-loop production system that provides hundreds of pounds of organically grown lettuce, basil, arugula and organically fed tilapia, to local restaurants and markets.

Here’s how it works. The farm collects rainwater and uses it to raise the fast-growing tilapia in tanks. Nutrient-rich waste water from the fish tanks then feeds the assortment of vegetables grown in the hydroponic greenhouse. Next the water flows to the algae beds, where oxygen is restored to the water before it is returned to the tilapia tanks.

Staff are testing different types of algae for optimal biofuel production. Meanwhile, biomass boilers provide the necessary heat for the greenhouses. And soon, solar panels will provide the farm’s electricity.

It’s a big project for a little town. One that provides everything from food to education, and most of all, a model that businesses can scale up and reproduce.

Watch the video

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