Putting an ancient method to work in modern times

Everybody’s gotta eat, but the path food takes before it reaches your plate can be circuitous, expensive and harmful to the environment. And in some instances, healthful food is simply hard to come by.

At Trifecta Ecosystems in Meriden, vegetables grow via aquaponic methods on an indoor soil-less farm, and are sold directly to consumers. The company provides aquaponic and other urban farming technologies to clients who want to grow food for themselves.

Trifecta Ecosystems

Location: Meriden
Founded: 2012
Founders and partners: Spencer Curry, CEO, 29; Kieran Foran, chief marketing officer, 28; Eric Francis, chief development officer, 30
Makes: Vegetables grown using aquaponic methods, with fish to come soon
Long-term vision: To create the city that
feeds itself.

It all started when friends Spencer Curry, 29, co-founder and CEO of Trifecta Ecosystems, and Kieran Foran, 28, co-founder and CMO, vowed to improve their lousy eating habits, Curry said. After successfully growing food on a smaller scale, Curry and Foran launched the company in 2012.

The company seeks to help local farmers, schools and nonprofit organizations use aquaponics to grow food for themselves and their communities. Trifecta Ecosystems aims to proliferate and cultivate urban farmers and enhance the local food distribution network, Curry said, in part by setting up a franchise-like system to help their customers easily and rapidly deploy their own aquaponic systems.

Trifecta Farm Manager Jill Shea examining the roots of multiple varieties of lettuce.

Curry has been pleased with the company’s growth and the overall business climate in Connecticut. Officials at the state as well as the local level are actively and visibly working on making Connecticut more welcoming to businesses, he said, and helping businesses thrive.

“That being said, there are definitely some things that still need work,” he said, “but I’m confident that those are getting looked at and worked on by competent people.”

Meanwhile, the founders of Trifecta Ecosystems have plenty to keep them busy. Aquaponics creates a symbiotic environment in which fish as well as plants can grow, with the fish fertilizing the plants, and the plants serving as a filtration system for the fish. So, plans are underway for the company to soon add fish to their product offerings.

“The industry itself is just taking off,” Curry said. “It’s an exciting time.” ◾