The O² Urban Farms story
What started out as a new hobby for us has blossomed into a full scale commercial growing operation. In early 2012, seeking higher quality and natural foods, we built a small aquaponics system in the front window of our house. We hoped to harvest fresh ingredients for cooking and share with our friends and family. A few things happened over the course of the next few months that would lead us here today (besides killing a few goldfish). One was that we quickly realized this method of growing was incredibly effective and the results were amazing. Second, as we looked around the city for fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs, we realized that often times the quality of what we saw in the stores was simply not good enough and was coming from some very far away places. This led us to a very important question- why isn't Cincinnati producing fresh food for Cincinnati?
Using a building plan and methods perfected by Friendly Aquaponics out of Hawaii, we created a 2000 square foot growing operation that could hold thousands of heads of lettuce, herbs and other plants in a greenhouse. Here's what we found out: summer in Cincinnati is hot and winter in Cincinnati is really cold sometimes. This left us with just a few months in between to reasonably grow produce. That wasn't going to work long term for us.
Heading back to the drawing board, we spent much of 2014 planning and testing out our next steps. After many trials and tribulations we came to our current concept: a completely indoor system that could truly grow year round.