Pentair is closing Urban Organics, a pioneering aquaponics venture that in six years had become a darling of Minnesota’s sustainable-food community.
Urban Organics raised fish and grew salad greens year-round in a closed-loop system in the former Schmidt Brewery in St. Paul. Fish excrement nourished the plants and the plants cleaned the water for the fish, a process known as recirculated aquaculture.
A Pentair spokeswoman said “the realization of the business model did not meet our expectations,” but declined to explain whether the concerns were financial, operational or both.
The company notified employees last week of the decision to shut it down. The final produce will be harvested this week and the last fish will be removed, killed and sold by late next week, a Pentair spokeswoman said.