The Owensboro Regional Farmers Market will soon have a very different kind of locally-raised product for its customers. That new item is expected be ready in August.
Among the zucchini, tomatoes and cabbage at the Owensboro Regional Farmers Market, there will soon be tilapia. The fish are being grown at Thomas Aquafarms in Daviess County.
Eric Thomas is co-owner of the aquafarm and created the unique environment to raise tilapia beginning with a traditional greenhouse you might see at a nursery.
“I designed and built the fish tanks for the fish to actually grow in," said Thomas. "So in the greenhouse currently we have over 12,000 gallons of space to grow our Blue Nile tilapia in.”
Thomas said the tilapia he’s planning to sell were about half-an-inch long when he bought them from an aquafarm in Louisiana.
Now it’s just a matter of waiting for the fish to grow to one pound so they can be sold. Thomas said he's got a lot of enthusiastic people waiting for tilapia.
“I get emails, private messages, Facebook messages, texts, phone calls, everything all the time, ‘When are the fish gonna be ready? When are the fish gonna be ready?’ and unfortunately, I can’t make them grow faster.”
He said the tilapia are expected to be ready in the next few weeks, then they'll available for purchase at the Owensboro Farmers Market.
Eric Thomas is co-owner of the aquafarm with this father, Rick Thomas.