Last week I asked some questions about the finances and “job creation” efforts of Milwaukee’s Sweet Water Organics (SWO). As a followup to that original entry, I wanted to delve into two issues that I felt weren’t germane to the point of my original entry.
So what’s buried outside?
As reported by Michael Timm of the Bay View Compass back in July 2010, nine 5,000-gallon insulated trenches were being built on the grounds outside of SWO’s main building to raise 35,000 fish. However, it’s been reported that those insulated trenches have since been completely filled in and buried where they stood, leaving the chemically treated lumber and polystyrene insulation used to insulate the trenches still in the ground (see attached).
I attempted to contact Todd Leech, Sweet Water Organics’ VP/Sales Manager, regarding the outdoor trenches having been buried, and he responded that due to a family emergency I should, “just read the other articles about it.” I attempted to find out more information about why the decision was made to bury SWO’s outdoor fish trenches, and though I did find articles mentioning the construction of the trenches, I was not able to find any articles mentioning why the trenches were ultimately buried.
So my questions remain: Why were SWO’s outdoor fish trenches buried, and were they buried “as-is,” with the chemically-treated lumber and polystyrene insulation still in the ground?
Is Sweet Water Organics really organic?
The name “Sweet Water Organics” seems to make it pretty clear that the products produced by SWO (fish & produce) are organic, but I’ve not been able to find any mention of SWO having been certified by the United States Department of Agriculture (USA) National Organic Program as being “organic.” The Sweet Water Organics website does not carry the USDA’s Organic Seal, and a search of the Midwest Organic Services Association’s (MOSA) MOSA Associate Directory did not return any results for Sweet Water Organics. It’s worth noting MOSA is an accredited certifying agent for the USDA’s National Organic Program, so it would seem logical their Associate Directory would include Sweet Water Organics if SWO was in fact certified as being organic.
So is Sweet Water Organics really organic? It certainly seems that the answer to that question is no, which would certainly be a disappointment.
So what’s next?
In the next couple of weeks, my plan is to share some thoughts (not mine, but those of folks much more knowledgeable than me) about how aquaponics/urban gardening can be done right, because I believe that there’s plenty of opportunity for aquaponics/urban gardening to be done properly (and profitably).