One thing most people can agree on: pale supermarket tomatoes do not taste like the tomatoes grown in the backyard in summer. That’s why Backyard Farms strives to produce fruit so delicious that it tastes like it was just plucked from the backyard garden—even during a long Maine winter.
According to Tim Cunnis, Executive Director of Sales and Marketing at Backyard Farms, the company formed in 2006 to provide a more local alternative to mediocre tomatoes trucked in from thousands of miles away.
NY Sun Works, a non-profit organization that builds innovative science labs in urban schools, partnered with a small group of parents at PS 333, The Manhattan School for Children, to found The Greenhouse Project Initiative in 2008.
“Through our Greenhouse Project Initiative, we use hydroponic farming technology to educate and teachers about the science of sustainability,” says Manuela Zamora, NY Sun Works director and director of education programs.
The Greenhouse Project was founded because parents and educators within New York City’s K-8 public school system were concerned about what they perceived to be shortcomings in the systems’ environmental science program.
When Casey Houweling traveled to Tactic, Guatemala in the summer of 2012, he saw firsthand the poverty, illiteracy, and hunger faced by the people in a country torn by decades of civil war. Houweling, President and CEO of Houweling’s Tomatoes, made the trip at the behest of his daughter Rebecca, a nursing student who had served there alongside the staff at a school run by Impact Ministries.
Rebecca was convinced that Houweling’s Tomatoes had the resources to help improve life for Tactic’s residents. Houweling had his doubts, however.
Beylik Family Farms’ Embrace of Hydroponics Proves Out-of-Box Thinking Can Sustain Multi-Generational FarmSeptember 5, 2013 | Melonie Magruder
Beylik Family Farms has proved that out-of-the-box thinking on agriculture can be rewarded with a multi-generational business model – one that keeps the family on the farm without even getting their hands dirty.
“Back in 1971, hydroponics were not a proven technology,” current family farmer Scott Beylik said. “We are light years away now from how we started out. And we get better yields than ever.”
Beylik’s dad was an aerospace engineer and his grandfather was a plant biology teacher at Culver City High School back in the early 70s when they got an idea to work for themselves. Grandpa Beylik researched growing hydroponically in an industry that couldn’t imagine year-round greenhouse production with no dirt involved.
Circle Fresh Farms Ties Network of Hydroponic Farms Together to Grow Local Food Movement in ColoradoAugust 20, 2013 | Melonie Magruder
Circle Fresh Farms, in Colorado, likes to say they were born from a vision of founder Buck Adams based around sustainability, local foods and greenhouse farms, which pretty much describes the seven-year-old company.
But that amiable description leaves out the extended version, which illustrates Circle Fresh’s efforts to transform an industry towards more locally produced foods, in ways that sustain and restore the health of the land and local communities, with a business model that increases opportunities for participants, while benefiting local retail stores.