Abandoned Milwaukee factory becomes a fish farm

Sweet Water Organics is the name that is emblazoned upon a marvelous story of urban reclamation. Once an abandoned factory and an industrial slum, the site has been transformed into a thriving an urban farm, where they grow fish and vegetables in the same structure. WUWM did a story on the farm back in July, and now the Bay View Compass has checked in with a feature story on the plant.

It is hard to articulate that extent to which the site has been so completely transformed. Instead, I’ll use pictures. Here is the building prior to the renovations performed by the new owners:



A depressing place. Cold and lifeless.

But here it is after work had begun:



You can tell the difference that new windows made even by just looking at the fourth picture. Light pours into the building now. It’s a welcoming place, about to become something wonderful.

And here it is today. Photos below are © Bay View Compass:

It’s alive! And that’s wonderful. I have had some sprouts from their facility, so I know the system works for that. Hopefully the fish will come through in good form, and perhaps a winter farmers market will spring up there late this fall. I look forward to it all!

And in the mean time, I’ll be enjoying things that have come from our gardens at home, such as the broccoli shown below… (it’s the one on the left.)



Author: Jason Haas

Jason is an elected member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, occasionally moonlights as an amateur gardener, and is a proud father of two, or three, depending on how you do the math.

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