About Us The Farming Fish
We work every day to ‘close the loop’ in farming. By combining Aquaponics with Organic in-ground growing, we believe we can collectively make steps toward healing the lands that feed us and the natural ecosystems that support growing nutritious food.
The Farming Fish is a family farm situated on 40 Certified Organic acres in the beautiful Evans Valley near Rogue River, Oregon. 30 acres is wooded land that we wild harvest mushrooms, berries, lemon balm, ferns, miners lettuce and other native edibles. We believe it is important to keep wild spaces wild and allow nature her own methods of diversity and production. 6 acres of pasture for livestock compliment 4 acres of a diversity of vegetable row crops, a small orchard (apple, pear, quince, hazelnut, walnut, cherry, plumb, grape) and Aquaponic production of Tilapia fish and basil.
The Path to Evans Valley
We were living in San Diego – hustling and bustling in a supposed perfect climate and we felt the same urge – to get out and work the land. Farming and producing food seemed a more valued profession to us. Sustainable agriculture was what we knew we should spend our life’s work on and our skill sets pointed us clearly at Aquaponics.
Michael’s vision opened the door to Oregon and all of our goals have become strong possibilities by starting this business together – here we are, doing our best and working hard every day to keep them growing.
This truly is a family farm – Our families have been the backbone to the formation of our vision and have been the supportive force that has propelled us to this point. Their understandings and input have been invaluable all along the way and we are so grateful for all the friends, new and old and especially our families.
Michael and Olivia work closely to build an ecological, educational and productive farm moving agriculture in a direction we are proud to pass on.
Michael grew up in the Livermore, CA area. He draws inspiration from and grew his love of the land from the rolling hills and creeks he knew so well growing up before moving to San Diego for High School. His love of the land and fresh water extended to the sea and it was only natural that he work with nature in his career. He started a landscape company before working in aquaculture. Next he started a pond and aquarium company that quickly grew a stellar reputation in San Diego County – this soon transitioned to pond and lake care primarily. Research lead him to recognize his own techniques of vegetive filtration and bioremediation were being used in other applications to grow vegetables otherwise known as Aquaponics.
At that time Michael was full swing into his pond/ lake care business in San Diego but decided to study Aquaponics. Before attending the University of the Virgin Islands Michael had begun testing and researching Aquaponics and had a design drafted.
His belief in and understanding of Aquaponics and his desire to help change the direction of agriculture to a path of holistic practices led him down this path. He then set out to build a commercial model of Aquaponics capable of teaching and leading the industry to higher production of higher quality crops using fewer resources.
Michael sold his business in San Diego and started the search for a suitable location not only to do commercial Aquaponics but to integrate it into the Organic farming model and raise a family. With a moderate climate of four seasons and the community culture our ideals suited, southern Oregon was the the nexus of these goals.
With strengths and experience focused in aquaculture and plant husbandry, roots in a strong work ethic, logic and esteem for nature, here he aspires to build Aquaponics to its highest form. Michael is the Aquaponic manager, Engineer, Naturalist and Inspiring force that is pioneering Aquaponics on our farm.
Olivia grew up in Iowa in a small farming community; though not raised on a farm, her understandings are based in that agrarian background. Her mother has always been an inspiration – an avid gardener raising a large patch and filling the pantry with bounty each year faithfully – this is the example she looks on and strives to emulate personally. Olivia’s grandfather was a successful farmer in the Midwest and many of her aunts and uncles still farm his lands where they were raised. She has long mused about cultural excellence and our ability as people to use our prowess for the good of the planet and Aquaponics was the inspiring force for the move back to an agricultural life.
She moved from southeast Iowa to San Diego where she opened a juice bar with her sister and continued to study business and art – this was also where she met Michael. After aiding in the start of his aquatic business she consulted other small businesses and became an office manager for a leading commercial design firm. Upon Michael discovering Aquaponics for food production both of their holistic understandings quickly shifted to opportunities to use their skills to advance a resource friendly, quality driven food system. They set out to build a life worth sharing and developing understandings that could help move all toward true sustainability.
The opportunity to contribute to a means that could help to heal the planet through changing the demand modern agriculture puts on the earth is what Olivia pursues here. Olivia is the Saleswoman, Office Manager and Organizational element to the farm – Olivia works to build understanding and appreciation of Organics and Aquaponics, as well as collaborate with the organic community, farmers and like minded people to progress quality food systems.