This week's Grand Junction Spotlight is all about Bruce Bertram. Bruce Bertram is a grandpa of four grandkids and that's not the only thing he's raising. Bruce raises tilapia and grows all kinds of plants using aquaponics.

Bruce has been living in Grand Junction for the past 30 years. He's a grandpa of four grandchildren, who currently live with him. His grandkids are 15, 12, 10 and 8 years old. They enjoy helping him work (and also simultaneously play) feeding and moving fish and tending to the plants.

One of Bruce's many businesses is raising fish and plants using aquaponics. According to Bruce, aquaponics is a compound word from agriculture and hydroponics. The water from the tilapia goes to the plants and feeds them and in turn, the water is filtered by the plants and returned to the fish.

Bruce told me he's got 3,000 gallons filled with fish at his place. Currently, he's raising about 1,000 tilapia and various different kinds of plants like:

  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes

Aquaponics uses less space than conventional farming. You can grow more plants with less space and less water, you can literally farm in a warehouse. Bruce says he sees the future of farming transitioning toward aquaponics. It's beginning to be more popular in Grand Junction. Bruce hopes to partner with local farmers in the future.