On Friday March 6th, we had the chance to visit a great new aquaponics setup in York region called Upstream. It was a bit of an impromptu trip after we reconnected with an old friend at the York Region Food Network at the York Region Seedy Saturday event on Saturday March 1st.

The building itself was quite nondescript, residing underneath a sleep clinic. However, upon entering through some nondescript industrial doors, we were treated to an intricate setup with multiple layers of grow beds, irrigation tubing running between the holding tanks and grow beds, and the bright sheen of the fluorescent growing lights.

We were treated to a private tour by Tricia, and learned about how the project got started, the initial investment (part of a $20,000 grant), some of the challenges involved in setting up the project, and the goals in educating people around growing their own food.

As an unexpected surprise, we got the chance to take home some of the aquaponic lettuce to enjoy and was it ever delicious! Check out some of the pictures of our tour below:

a sample smaller version of aquaponics

Upon entering, there is a scaled down version of a sample home aquaponic system

more beds not currently in use

Next up was a set of 3 grow beds (not currently in full production)

Looking down at the various grow beds

Looking down at a couple of the grow beds

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One view of the grow beds

another view of the grow beds

Another view of the grow beds

one of the many beds of lettuce

A bed of mixed lettuce

aquaponic lettuce with a nice thick root system

Long, thick and healthy lettuce roots

enjoying some lettuce for the ride home

A sample bag of freshly harvested lettuce to take home!