Oneida Nation celebrates aquaponics system production with harvest
Oneida Nation harvested the first fish from its aquaponics system Wednesday.
The tribe used a USDA Farm to School Grant to build the program in 2016.
Inside the snow covered greenhouse lies a warm environment for Oneida Nation's aquaponics system.
It's a connected mechanism where food, tanks, pipes, and lights create a system for fish and veggies to grow.
"We're in a recirculating system of water where our fish benefit our plants,” Kristy Krenke, Oneida Nation Training and Outreach Intern said. “Our plants in turn will clean our water for our fish."
There's about 70 tilapia per tank and it takes about 26 weeks before the fish are ready to be harvested.
Oneida Nation is primarily focused on utilizing the lettuce saying, in full production, more than 100 heads of lettuce can be produced a week.
"We're in Wisconsin, winter is a hard one, where not a lot of fresh food is available locally," said Krenke.
The lettuce that is grown is part of the salad bar at Oneida Nation High School.
"We would like to see all of our lettuce be utilized at the school and we would like to see the school just purchasing our lettuce," said Krenke.
On Wednesday, veterans from the tribe had fish tacos. Using the lettuce along with the tilapia from the aquaponics system.
"I've never had it, it's kind of like perch a little bit,” Michael Hill, a Navy Veteran said. “It's good, I like it.”