Intrigued by the idea of growing fresh veggies year round in Wisconsin, Pamela Walker seized upon the futuristic agribusiness model of aquaponics, which she first experienced on a horticulture class fieldtrip.
As part of a five-generation cranberry-growing business, Pamela already shared in her family’s knowledge of growing and harvesting a vitamin-rich food. She liked the idea of growing produce in the most healthy and organic manner possible, without chemicals, herbicides, or manufactured fertilizers.
As a science teacher, Pamela understood the life cycle of the plants and fish growing in a symbiotic relationship created through the closed-loop system of aquaponics. She appreciated the sustainability and water conservation practices which come naturally with aquaponics. Aquaponics uses less than 10% of the water needed for conventional agriculture.
In 2017, Pamela and her family constructed the ColdSnap Aquaponics facility 10 miles west of Wisconsin Rapids, located in Central Wisconsin. The greenhouse provides a state-of-the-art, clean and controlled environment supporting the standard operating procedures and good agricultural practices measured against aquaponics industry standards for bio-security and food safety.
On seed tables grow varieties of Romaine, Bibb and Buttercrisp lettuce, spinach, plus microgreens and fancy leaf lettuce. Four media beds provide the space to grow tomatoes, cucumbers, kohlrabi, beets, and other vegetables suitable for shallow root development.
With the capacity to grow 90,000 heads of lettuce annually, ColdSnap Aquaponics provides fresh produce to local schools, hospitals, restaurants, and grocery stores. Produce also will be available on a small scale to retail customers who visit the ColdSnap greenhouse.
The ColdSnap Aquaponics fish tanks are filled with tilapia, and other fish varieties, such as walleye and perch, are to be introduced in the future. The fish will be harvested periodically and sold whole, on ice.
The forward-thinking agricultural model of aquaponics had Pam hooked from the start. She thinks you’ll love the results! Local, fresh produce delivered within 24 hours of harvest.