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Tuesday, 06 February 2018 14:45

Caledonia firm to invest $3.3 million in aquaponics farm to raise local greens, fish

Written by  MiBiz Staff
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CALEDONIA — A West Michigan firm plans to invest $3.3 million into a large-scale commercial aquaponics farm south of Grand Rapids that will produce fresh salad mixes and locally raised fish.

Always Local LLC, which sells produce under the Revolution Farms brand, will construct a 55,000-square-foot glass greenhouse and a 35,000-square-foot warehouse and install aquaculture and aquaponics systems and an assembly line in Caledonia Township, according to a statement.

The company expects to create 12 jobs with the project’s first phase. Future phases include a build out of eight greenhouses, with space available for packing and logistics operations.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development awarded a $50,000 performance-based grant to the company for the project.

Always Local anticipates that its first harvest will take place this summer.

“The Revolution Farms team is extremely excited about developing a cutting-edge sustainable farm to deliver fresher and healthier produce to our fellow citizens in West Michigan and beyond,” CEO Tripp Frey said in a statement. “We are ecstatic about being a part of the farm revolution and being a leader in sustainable agriculture.”

Once up and running, the company will be able to offer locally-sourced food options for products that typically come from outside the region, reducing transportation and offering fresher products that produce local jobs, executives said.

Additionally, MDARD awarded a $75,000 performance-based grant to Hartford Farm Supply, which operates as Paw Paw River Produce. The company plans to invest $1.2 million to build a 13,440-square-foot controlled atmosphere apple storage facility in Hartford, Mich., located in Van Buren County.

The project will encourage import substitution and keep more apples in the state for storage, according to a statement.

The facility is expected to be completed by the fall harvest this year.

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