Startup companies bet locally sourced fish, produced in self-sustaining habitats, can win over city-dwellers
By Christopher Weber, Special to the Tribune
May 25, 2011
Amid the worst economy in decades, Andrew Fernitz, 23, thinks he can raise fish and organic produce for a living.
While his classmates are searching for jobs at employment fairs and scrambling for internships, the recent University of Illinois at Chicago graduate quit his job as a bartender to join three friends in launching an ambitious new startup. Together they are setting up an aquaponic farm on the South Side.
Among environmentalists and urban gardeners, aquaponics has become a popular new endeavor. By raising fish and vegetables in indoor water tanks, Fernitz and his colleagues aim to cultivate fresh food in the heart of Chicago.