Our Farm Model
Fusion Farms is the first indoors, hurricane-protected, vertical produce farm in Puerto Rico
Fusion Farms represents a fusion of innovation, talent, impact, urban farming, and food security for the island of Puerto Rico. Within the hurricane-protected embrace of our 11,500 square foot concrete building in Mayagüez, western Puerto Rico, we combine elements of aquaponics, hydroponics, and renewable energy to offer the island a year-round, reliable, and varied harvest of fresh leafy greens, herbs, micro-herbs, vegetables, fruits, and fish. Moreover, our produce is grown in a closed, carefully controlled environment, which means no pesticides, no additives, and no hormones…only fresh, nutritious, 100% organic food, as nature intended.
Our Pilot Facility in Mayagüez
Our 11,500 square-foot hurricane protected pilot facility in Mayagüez has the capacity to grow over 80,000 planted pots at a time, which are stacked on great vertical racks to optimize productivity per square footage of facility space. Our leafy greens and herbs are grown in deep-water rafts without soil under LED lights in a closed, climate controlled environment for a year-round prolific harvest of fresh food that is immune to the seasons and protected from molds, pests, disease, and harmful pathogens, without the need for pesticides. We may be located right in the middle of an urban area and our farm might be a fraction of the area of a traditional farm, but our output of fresh produce is exponentially more.
The Role of Aquaponics
The key to the success of our productivity lies in the natural relationship between plants and fish, specifically tilapia fish, more specifically, tilapia fish poop. We rear healthy tilapia in enormous tanks, the conditions within which are carefully monitored and controlled. Because our fish tanks are closed to external influences, such as disease and pests, we don’t have to treat our fish with antibiotics or any other chemicals, which makes them a clean, healthy, and delicious source of protein.
The nutrient-rich water within the tanks is then piped through the complex network of deep-water rafts and racks in our grow facility, providing our leafy greens and herbs with the spectrum of nutrients they need to grow quickly and prolifically. With all the “goodness” filtered out of the water, the clean water is channeled back into the fish tanks, ready for its next load of poop, er, nutrients. We establish a perfectly natural cycle that fuels plant growth and delivers seed-to-harvest produce in as little as 21 days. Additionally, our carousel grow cycle means that we can grow 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with consistent output.
The Benefits of Controlled Environment Aquaponics
The benefits of Fusion Farms’ urban farming model are numerous, particularly in the context of Puerto Rico, which currently imports upwards of 90% of its fresh food. For starters, our farm minimizes the impact of external conditions on our harvest, which means that, come rain, shine, or even hurricane, our vast assortment of leafy greens, herbs, and fresh fish will continue thriving and we will continue harvesting.
The constant cycling of water reduces the demands of our farm by 90% compared with traditional farming operations. We have also installed enormous rainwater tanks, which almost entirely eliminate our reliance on Puerto Rico’s municipal water, while our solar panel installation, battery backup, and generators supply our farm with the vast majority – if not all – of the electricity we need to power our operations.
In short, Fusion Farms can operate independently of the environment, the weather, and the island’s wavering infrastructure, supplying Puerto Rico with a reliable source of fresh, nutrient-rich leafy greens, herbs, vegetables, and fish. With time, we plan to diversify our produce, adding fruit trees and all kinds of delicious vegetables to our harvests.
The Pursuit of Food Sovereignty
It is the highest goal of Fusion Farms to eliminate Puerto Rico’s reliance on food imports. And we’re doing this by replacing the incoming container loads of rapidly deteriorating produce from thousands of miles away with a local, reliable source of fresh food that was literally still growing a few hours, if not a few minutes before it landed on your plate. Growing your own food creates jobs, it powers the economy, and protects communities in crises such as hurricanes and, as we’re currently seeing, disease pandemics. No matter how bad things get out there, Fusion Farms’ protected, controlled environment agriculture operation can continue running, supplying the island with fresh, locally grown, and nutritious food.
Mayaguez is Just the Start
Our pilot facility in Mayagüez is just the start of Fusion Farms. Through tireless data capture, research, and innovation, we will flesh out an effective model for controlled environment aquaponics and vertical farming that we can then repeat in hurricane protected facilities across the entire island of Puerto Rico. With one facility capable of growing 80,000 plants at a time – and with a harvest every three weeks – the potential for food output is enormous. With time, it is our most ardent ambition, to completely eliminate the island’s reliance on expensive and poor quality food imports.
Through our state-of-the-art farms and vast network of passionate individuals and experts, we can stoke the fires of employment and economy in Puerto Rico. And with our educational and training program, which are currently under construction but will be coming soon, we also aim to stoke the fires of entrepreneurship and food sovereignty.