Patrick Durkin has been converting a former Manorville commercial fish farm into an aquaponics operation where fish and plants grow together. Fresh-picked watercress, mint and Vietnamese coriander are already available at Fruit of Life Aquaponics, Durkin’s nascent operation, and rosemary is almost ready for harvesting. Durkin, 30, of Manorville, said aquaponics is the urban farming of the future.
Patrick Durkin checks on the plants he's growing at Fruit of Life Aquaponics in Manorville on Tuesday, March 21, 2017. When used for farming, plants grow hydroponically in water, using no soil. The plants feed on the by-products that fish give to the water.
A strawberry plant grows in a PVC tube at Fruit of Life Aquaponics.
Fruit of Life Aquaponics owner-founder Patrick Durkin's son Patrick, 6, helps to feed the koi and goldfish at the aquaponic farm in Manorville on Sunday, March 19, 2017. Aquaponics is farming within a greenhouse that grows plants hydroponically in water using no soil. The nutrient-rich waste from fish provides organic food source for plants. The closed loop system in turn filters the water for the fish.
Koi and goldfish swim in one of the taniks at Fruit of Life Aquaponics.
Owner and founder Patrick Durkin uses duckweed in the tanks that hold koi, goldfish and rainbow trout at Fruit of Life Aquaponics.
Assorted lettuce seedlings head toward the light from a growing medium called rockwool.
Owner and founder Patrick Durkin walks with his son Patrick, 6, at Fruit of Life Aquaponics.. Durkin is a former aircraft mechanic, a tractor-trailor mechanic, cab driver, gas station attendant and National Guardsman who.always loved gardening and fish, inspiring him to try aquaponics.
Chris Cavanaugh, owner and chef at Cavanaugh's in Blue Point, sniffs the aroma of fresh mint he gets from Fruit of Life Aquaponics.
Harvested watercress, mint and Vietnamese coriander from Fruit of Life Aquaponics are boxed and ready for to Cavanaugh's in Blue Point.
The greenhouse of Fruit of Life Aquaponics is 100 by 30 feet in size.
From left, STEM teacher Todd Brunn, Jose Frogoso-Guerrero, Jolee White, Q'Wayne Douglas and Engher Suarez-Rodriguez in Todd Brunn's science class at Montauk Public School on Monday, March 27, 2017. The students use a seeding medium called rockwool to plant snap peas, which will be grown using water that's been pumped from a koi pond.
First-graders in Todd Brunn's science class at Montauk Public School work with the growing media that will be used to grow the snap peas they plant in aquaculture bins.