We are Tim & Bonny Goodenough along with our family - Boston, Kessler, Wyndsor & Elly. We are the 4th & 5th generation farm family that started as dairy/hog/beef and moved into a grain operation before becoming aquaponics greenhouse growers.
It all started several years ago when commodity prices were high, grain prices were variable and mother nature was throwing us curve balls. Tim started searching for a different means of farming and he had fish farming in the back of his mind because of a trip he took to South America when he was on the American Soybean Board. We found Nelson & Pade, a company in Wisconsin that has been in the Aquaponics industry for over 30 years and they opened the doors for us. We started our journey by attending a 3 day Master Class on Aquaponics at Nelson & Pade where we learned what it was all about. During the 3 day course, Bonny found that this new style of farming was just what she had been looking for as the process is a mix of microbiology, chemistry and gardening; all key pieces she has a background in. So with Tim's ability to implement a new business as prior to grain farming, he owned a successful bar/restaurant for many years, we started the process.
We purchased a used greenhouse (actually 8) in Eau Claire in 2014. But they were still standing so we needed to disassemble them. What an adventure we had. It took the entire month of August staying in our camper on site and then it was another 2 months of Tim and our dad's continuing to dismantle while the kids and I returned home to start school. We had many trips to Eau Claire daily and everyone thought we were nuts but we continued forward. We still laugh and reminisce over memories from "up in Eau Claire" and we will never take a shower or running water for granted again.
While still in the planning phase, we continued to visit Nelson & Pade to stay in the aquaponics loop and tried to learn as much as possible prior to start up. Bonny took a semester course through UW-Stevens Point on aquaponics that ended with a 3 day lab at Nelson & Pade where they were able to put what was learned into real life learning and problem solving.
We feel that aquaponics will be the new face of farming as it is sustainable, healthier and can supply more food per acre than traditional farming along with it is grown locally year round in a controlled environment. Take a short drive and enjoy the scenery. We'd love to have you visit and check us out!