In the open, light-filled space of a repurposed factory, Will Allen, a towering urban farmer and CEO in a sleeveless hoodie, declared, “Urban farming has gone from a movement to a revolution.” Allen made this observation July 8, when he was present to watch the newest members of the revolution-1,200 small yellow perch-arrive at Sweet Water Organics.
Sweet Water is a nascent commercial fish farm opening at 2121 S. Robinson Ave. in a complex of industrial buildings tucked away in northwestern Bay View. The owners, Josh Fraundorf, Steve Lindner, and James Godsil, intend to sell yellow perch and tilapia to local restaurants and grocers. On July 22 another 1,200 perch and 33,000 tilapia swam into Sweet Water’s tanks. In all, 5,000 perch will be fattened up for the farm’s first winter harvest. The tilapia should reach market-size in nine months.