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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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Posts By Brian Jeffiers

A Fruitless Search for Organic Produce Prompts Tennessee Couple to Grow Their Own

September 25, 2012 |

Photo Credit: West Wind Farms

When Ralph and Kimberlie Cole began seeking a source for organic produce in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, they had no idea that they would become a source. In 1996, spurred by dissatisfaction with the conventionally grown food options in their area, the couple, both environmental scientists, started down the path toward home food production.

“We wanted to be more sustainable and actually produce what we consumed,” Kimberlie recalled. Read More

Business Savvy and Organic Certification Propel Aquaponics Operation in Tennessee

September 7, 2012 |

Joel Townsend, Founder of Greater Growth holding a raft of mature lettuce. Photo credit: Greater Growth.

Seafood and produce grown indoors without the benefit of soil or open water may seem like the stuff of 1960’s sci-fi films, but for Lenoir City, Tennessee company Greater Growth, the future is now.

Established in 2011 after co-owner Joel Townsend left his job as a stockbroker, Greater Growth utilizes aquaponics technology to fuse production of fish and vegetables into a single, indoor enterprise. The technology combines modern aquaculture with hydroponics to create a cyclical system of farming.

Townsend undertook the effort at the urging of his wife Linda. “I viewed myself as retired and my wife did not,” Townsend said in a phone interview. They invested a combination of personal capital and bank loans in the business, breaking ground in March 2011 and kicking off production in December of the same year. Read More