Verticulture – Aquaponic farming

Verticulture Aquaponic farming Miles Cretien

Food from the Hood

Verticulture is a vertical farm based in Brooklyn, New York City. They are made up of agriculture professionals with expertise in ecological design, fish and plant biology, economics and business.

Miles Cretien and his parters built an aquaponic research and development farm on the roof of the old Pfizer building in Bedstuy, Brooklyn. There they are testing their growing technology and its commercial viability for the New York City market.

Aquaponics for the win

As fish eat and grow, they produce nutrients like nitrogen that are used by plants to form proteins for cell growth. Thus plants are used to remove the excess nutrients from the system and provide clean, ammonia and nitrate free water for the fish. 

Also check out the crowdfunding-video Verticulture made to finance their farm. with less than $10.000 they started up their 10,000 square foot aquaponic farm which produces nearly 60,000 pounds of fresh herbs and greens and raises over 14,000 pounds of fresh fish annually.

The 12 Steps of Verticulture

VertiCulture is creating aquaponic production facilities around the NYC area that provide fresh and highly nutritious food to economically and culturally diverse populations. 

To learn how Verticulture is doing this and to learn about the 12 steps they are undertaking to transform their vision into reality, check out the episode below

The 12 steps story of Verticulture

Learn all about Miles Cretien and his 12 steps for starting up an Aquaponics Farm in Brooklyn, New York.

Sad news though, in the beginning of 2017 Verticulture Stopped its activities. Miles Cretien Stated: “Verticulture closed because we weren’t able to get the financial backing we needed to expand operations and build a sustainable enterprise for the Founders. This in large part, in my opinion, was because we started as a value driven organization to impact the local economy by focusing on building functioning farms using low cost systems, and employing people locally with living wage salaries, that then attempted to fit a financing model that loosely appealed to VC interests, and it wasn’t a good fit.”


As fish eat and grow, they release ammonia into the water through their gills and digestive system. Without export, ammonia levels will quickly become toxic and poison the fish. In order to remove ammonia and keep the fish alive and healthy, we use bio-media filters to process the ammonia into nitrates, a far less toxic chemical to fish. However, if nitrate concentrations get to high, they too can poison the fish over time. Therefore we need a third mechanism to remove nitrates from the water to ensure the fishes good health. This is where plants come in. Plants use nitrogen compounds to form proteins for cell growth. Without some form of nitrogen, nitrates in this case, plants will suffer from stunted growth. Thus we can use plants to remove the nitrates from the system and provide clean, ammonia and nitrate free water, for the fish.

In the Verticulture system, ammonia rich water from the fish tank/s  is pumped into the bio-filter planting beds where it will come into contact with nitrifying bacteria colonies living on the planting media and root systems of the plants. Here, ammonia is transformed by the bacteria into nitrates, an essential plant nutrient and a far less toxic chemical to fish. The plants use these available nitrates to grow, removing them from the water, thus purifying it for the fish. The clean water will be returned to the fish tank to complete the closed loop. No water will be removed from the system, and water will only be added to replace that which is lost to evaporation and uptake by the plant

More about Verticulture

Verticulture is awesome and has great plans to make this world a happier and helthier place.

KIKVORS will be making more documentaries about Verticulture in the future. Yet Urban and Vertical Farmers like their knowledge like they like their produce: Fresh. Therefore, to be up to date follow them on facebook.

Verticulture Aquaponic farming Miles Cretien