I live in Milwaukee in the home we purchased over 30
years ago. Went to Bay View High School and graduated
from UWM with a botany major. Iím retired from a
number of jobs including Navy pilot, Aircraft
instrument repair businessman, real estate investor,
and fish farmer.
My current project with Leon is the one Jim Godsil
informed you of. We havenít had the occasion to
announce because itís still in the planning stage. In
a nutshell, we are planning a large educational
facility which will possibly be called The Milwaukee
Permaculture Center. Once established, we intend to
be self supporting by growing, serving and selling
fish. My vision for the Milwaukee Permaculture Center
is to develop a community and visitor friendly
resource in a pleasant setting in Milwaukee to
demonstrate that aquaculture is a viable and
sustainable farming enterprise in an urban
I spent a glorious month on the Pacific side,
where I lived in a hut with an Iguana topside.
The fish farm was purchased in December 1999 by
myself, a sister and a brother as a business
opportunity. It was located above the little town of
Cachi in the Orosi Valley south of Cartago. It was
truly a piece of paradise by any measure of beauty.
We sold it 2 Ĺ years later for economic reasons. We
grew coffee as well as rainbow trout, and the coffee
fell in price to the point that if we had kept the
farm, it would be losing money.
Fish in the local market comes from places far away,
frequently from South America or Asia. It can be grown
locally, with control over contaminates such as lead,
cadmium and mercury. We are initially going to raise
yellow perch which is a native species that is the
fish of choice for the Friday night fish fry. Nearly
all are imported from Canada. There is a 30 million
pound per year market in the Great Lakes Basin alone
that is controlled by only one or two suppliers. If
you check the local grocery stores you will notice the
price point for perch is at a level that is destroying
its own market.
My wife Anne buys the fish, usually tilapia, catfish,
and salmon, but we always have concerns about the
freshness and purity of the meat.
I have been seeking advice from all sources regarding
fish farming, including other fish farms, although Iím
not directly involved.
We expect our fish to be cost competitive and in the
grocery stores. Hopefully we will produce 100 tons in
the first year so we can get busy with the
demonstration, educational and research projects. The
MPC will utilize a Recirculating Aquaculture System
(RAS) for its core food production to pay its
employees and grow the center.
Weíve looked at many sites. There are a lot of vacant
buildings in Milwaukee, but so far our favorite venue
is in the Menomonee Valley. We could be a tie-in with
Discovery World. What we are about involves
Agriculture. We can replace lost manufacturing jobs
with farming jobs in the city. In the past, city
money bought protein from the country. With modern
methods, we city folk can grow our own protein.
Everything we need is right here in Milwaukee.