Early in my life I spent most of my time on the water, fishing for the freshwater and
saltwater species of fish that surrounded my home of Trumbull, CT. When it came time to go
to college and choose a career path I decided to follow in my grandfather's foot steps and
become a businessman. Little did I know, I found it very disheartening to find that my brilliant
professors with so much experience and knowledge were not very good at communicating
this information or their passion.
At the end of my sophomore year I decided I wanted to teach, so I walked across campus and signed up for the secondary education biological sciences program and began my path towards teaching using my life
experiences and passion for the natural world to guide me through each
and every lesson. After graduating I got my first job as a middle school
science teacher, then as a high school biology teacher in Connecticut.
While my love for standing in front of a group of kids and teaching
through sharing experiences and stories never waned, I became frustrated
by the way this public school system was run, and thought once again,
"There has to be a better way to teach." During a conversation with my
Dad he told me about this National Geographic article he just read titled,
"The Blue Revolution," which outlined the ways people were farming fish
around the world. One of these outlined a way to raise two crops; the fish,
and plants. The fish produced waste that must be filtered from the water for
them to remain healthy and keep growing, while the plants acted as this
filter purifying the water and using this waste as the fertilizer to grow. It
clicked, the metaphorical light went on, and I journeyed down the research
worm hole known as aquaponics.
This combined everything I loved in one place, a way to reduce pressure on wild fish stocks without the environmental impact of traditional fish farming, raising healthy local food for those around me, and most importantly acting as a classroom to teach not just one cohort of students, but my community and all who wish to learn. I traveled around the country learning from as many experts as I could including attending a course at the world famous aquaponics hub at the University of the Virgin Islands, a conference in San Jose with aquaponics experts from all around the globe, and in meeting a mentor of mine in Dr. Martin Schreibman at Brooklyn College in New York.
Fast forward to 2018, my wife went through a very similar ethical evolution, and as she saw the impact aquaponics can have on a community paired with her frustrations of the current frustration in the medical fields inattention to patient health she began her journey towards the Sweetlife! Julie is my rock and foundation, and without her none of my dreams about Sweetlife would be possible and I am so proud and excited to add her to the team! She is taking on the role of Owner and CEO and has this to say about it:
I have been working as a registered nurse for 8 years and worked as a Family Nurse Practitioner for the last 5 years with a background in pediatrics and geriatrics. Having a diverse background in the medical field has allowed me to see first hand the importance of proper nutrition across all ages. This coupled with my husbands growing passion for aquaponics has opened up my eyes to the incredible need for sustainable, local, nutrient-dense food. I am beyond excited to be working with my husband to grow our aquaponics/hydroponics farm and bring a positive impact to our surrounding communities. We hope to not only be your family’s source for tasty produce but also your source for knowledge on nutrition and sustainable food so come on by and enjoy a taste of the Sweetlife!