Growing basil outside isn’t new for growers in northern New Mexico, but it’s something new for the state’s farmers.
“We’re doing it at our own expense,” said Michael O’Neill, a member of the Grow Albuquerque community of farmers and aquaponic farmers.
O’Neil said his company, Grow Albuquerque, has invested $50,000 to build an aquaponica that he said will produce a million pounds of fresh, local produce per year.
That’s enough for a month’s supply of food for two people.
The aquaponia, which O’Connor has been working on for about three years, is a solar-powered, hydroponic greenhouse that produces enough water and food for a family of four.
The greenhouse will eventually be open for harvest.
“It’s just about having the time and money to do it,” O’Brien said.
“There’s a lot of different benefits to doing it yourself.”
The project’s been a hit in the community, said Brian Burdick, the mayor of Taos.
“I’m very proud of it,” Burdack said.
The city of Tasmania, home to a growing number of local farmers, has also embraced the aquaponias as an environmentally friendly alternative to growing tomatoes.
“That’s really important,” said Mayor Jim O’Leary.
“This will be a great source of income for the city, for Taos and for the community.”
In the past year, Taos has seen a rise in the number of new local growers.
“People have come to us and they’re excited about the aquavas,” said Taos Mayor Jim Kavanagh.
“And it’s really good to see people making money.”
O’Reilly said he’s looking forward to seeing more people embrace the aquaponics industry.
“The farmers here in Taos are doing a great job,” he said.