Monday, April 07, 2014

"From the Land of Sky Blue Waters"

I will be curious to hear how many people make a connection with the subject of this post. It was the marketing phrase and song for Minnesota-based Hamms Beer, a classic cheap light beer made by a Minnesota company that was acquired by a string of other companies, with the St. Paul brewery put out of business years ago. 

How does this relate to Agricultural Law?   I was delighted to read what has recently happened to the old Hamms Brewery building in St. Paul.

Here's an excerpt from a fascinating article in the St. Paul Pioneer Press and a link to the full story.  It's a story of urban agriculture, urban renewal, sustainability and organic farming, "from the land of sky blue waters."

The same “sky blue waters” that were used to brew Hamm’s beer for more than 100 years now provide a home for thousands of tilapia and sustenance for racks of leafy green vegetables.  
Urban Organics, an aquaponics farm, operates in the six-story stockhouse building of the former Hamm’s brewery complex in east St. Paul.  
Aquaponics is a method of raising fish and vegetables symbiotically. The nutrient-rich wastewater from the fish tanks is used to grow the vegetables hydroponically —“planting” them in water instead of dirt -- and the vegetables purify the water, which is recycled into the fish tanks.  
The company’s vegetables already are available in a handful of Lunds and Byerly’s stores, and the fish may soon be available at local restaurants.  
Urban Organics’ co-founders — Fred Haberman, Chris Ames, Dave Haider and Kristen Haider — were drawn to the location for the same reason Hamm’s was: its water.  
The naturally occurring wells at the site provide their operation with a free source of water, the essential ingredient in aquaponics. And most of the water is recycled. 
The full article provides more details -  At Former Hamms Site, Its the Water - for fish and veggies,  by Nick Woltman, Saint Paul Pioneer Press.


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