Canopy Farms is a rooftop aquaponics greenhouse in partnership with Tao Yuan restaurant in Brunswick, Maine. Chef/owner Cara Stadler and her mother and co-owner Cecile have been dreaming of this project since they started their first restaurant in 2012. Since then, they’ve worked with Canopy Farms operator Kate Holcomb to develop the concept, collaborating with many community partners to get this unique structure from idea to reality.

We’re so inspired by aquaponics, we’re creating a business ecosystem. The farm grows fish and produce for the restaurants, supplying fresh, specialty items year-round. We share staff, infrastructure, and customers. We host student interns and hope to work with community partners in developing the year-round growing technologies that can help Maine be a leader in innovative sustainable agriculture.

Our goals…

Develop aquaponics as a viable production method in Maine

Spearhead innovation in sustainable year-round agriculture technologies

Strengthen connections between farms and restaurants– provide a new business model for sharing resources to make smaller-scale growing possible

Provide education and training in these areas

Showcase these developments to the public

What is aquaponics?

Aquaponics is the cultivation of an ecosystem. It’s the combination of growing fish and plants on a loop– the fish waste provides nutrients for the plants, and the plants filter the water for the fish. Our job is to create the right environment for the naturally-occurring bacteria that convert fish waste into usable nutrients, so our system stays happy and productive.

Because we rely on balance of these natural systems, we can’t use chemically-derived additives like pesticides or fertilizers. And since we’re right next door, our products will always be super fresh!