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.