Transforming the food system and strengthening local communities.
Haberman believes in the pioneering spirit so much that sometimes we just have to take the plunge ourselves. At a new organic urban farm in St. Paul, we’re quite literally diving in because this farm doesn’t use dirt. It’s all about water. Aquaponics, to be exact. Fish and plants help each other grow, and we see this fully sustainable, closed loop method of farming as a way to produce and provide healthy food where it’s needed most, right in the heart of the city. In doing so, we can strengthen local communities by revitalizing neighborhoods and creating jobs.
Welcome to Urban Organics, a pioneering project we’re thrilled to help create and launch. Four partners — Kristen Koontz Haider, Dave Haider, Chris Ames and Fred Haberman — along with the energies of many supporters made it possible. Located in the historic but long neglected Hamm’s Brewery on the east side of St. Paul, Urban Organics is one of two USDA certified organic aquaponics facilities in the nation.
Key supporters include Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems, which designed the aquaponics system and provided expertise. Lunds and Byerly’s is the first grocer to carry our foods. The City of Saint Paul supported the project from the very beginning and backed the project financially. Haberman developed the brand, created the website and directs all marketing.
A True Pioneer and Constant Inspiration
An inspiring force for Fred and his partners at Urban Organics is Will Allen, the pioneering founder of Growing Power in Milwaukee who shows the world that healthy, high-quality, safe and affordable foods can be produced in urban environments, bringing new vitality and prosperity to the people who live there.
Revitalizing A Historic Neighborhood
Urban Organics is located in the former Hamm’s Brewery, established in 1865 but vacant for nearly two decades. Structurally, the facility was sound, but years of neglect called for intensive restoration efforts. Dave Haider is a St. Paul native. His great-grandfather worked at the Hamm’s Brewery for nearly 40 years.
Modernizing An Age-Old Practice
Urban Organics incorporates the latest innovations in aquaponics, drawing on deep wells beneath the old brewery to raise tilapia and grow a wide range of healthy vegetables and herbs. Aquaponics uses two percent of the water of required in conventional farming. The facility will operate year-round.
Certified 100% USDA organic
Select Lunds and Byerly’s stores will carry Urban Organics produce. Initial crops will be Italian parsley, green kale, red kale, green Swiss chard, red Swiss chard, cilantro and lacinato kale.
Urban Organics partners
(from left to right) Chris Ames, Dave Haider, Kristen Koontz Haider and Fred Haberman