Farmer Spotlight: Steve McLeod Swapped Dirt For Fish at his Urban Farm

Maggie Roth

Hello my name is Steve McLeod.

I’m 59 years old. I’ve been farming for 6 years.

I grow Controlled Environment Aquaponics (CEA) at my farm in the urban city of Cary, NC.

Sustainable farming practices are important to me because of climate change, cardboard tasting, pesticide, and antibiotic doused food.

My favorite thing about being a farmer is wearing sweats all day while experiencing a slice of the web of life.

My farmer idol of superhero is the Aztec Empire because of their brilliance and resourcefulness in using aquaponics.

My favorite song to listen to on the farm is “There is Only So Much Oil in the Ground,” by Tower of Power.

When I’m not farming I like to practice the art and science of aging gracefully.

My favorite thing to grow is synergism; made from fish waste, worm, and bacteria poop.

My favorite thing to eat is local, organic, super nutritious, flavor rich, semi-vegetarian meals.

If I could change one thing about the food system it would be to make it more sustainable.

Something you don’t know about me is I enjoy the environmental ergonomics.

If I could tell the world one thing about what being a farmer is like it would be synergism; to have working in concert a fully functioning system of fish, bacteria, vermiculture, environmental conditions, and spectral frequencies’ for excellence in growth.

I am reducing post-harvest losses by maximizing plant health through vermiculture, beneficial organisms, controlled environmental conditions, and recycling.

I conserve water on my farm by not losing any to evaporation – refer to Atmospheric water generators.

Climate change is affecting my farm by motivating me to create a controlled environment aquaponic greenhouse in a shipping container.

One thing I’m doing to protect the environment on my farm is conserving water.

I think we need more young people involved in farming because it’s exciting, rewarding, enriching, and important for their future.

One thing I’m doing to create healthy soil on my farm is vermiculture and growing soilless – I grow in the air, water, and the gravel.

One thing I’m doing to prevent erosion from my farm is CEA farming: knowledge, capital, and time.

I did not always know I would be a farmer. I chose the agricultural life because of health, climate change, urban, and city living.

Others in my family are involved in farming or agriculture. My family helps out and others use this system for food security and extra income.

The following resources, programs, or organizations are most valuable to my farm: Aquaponics Association, NCDA.