The Microgreens Show | Episode 17 | Urban farm $6000/wk to $250/wk
Visiting Vertical Farm On The West Side Of Chicago to interview the CEO Mark Thomas. He will explain how the urban farm went from making $6000/wk to $250/wk.
More about Garfield Produce Company:
Located in East Garfield Park, Garfield Produce Company is an indoor vertical farm and a licensed wholesale food establishment in the City of Chicago. The company was formed with the social mission of serving the neighborhood by building sustainable wealth and creating employment in Chicago’s impoverished areas, while growing some of the highest quality produce in the city.
In order to better serve our community, we have strategically partnered with Breakthrough Urban Ministries, which has served the East Garfield Park neighborhood for the past 16 years through its homeless shelters, food pantry, children’s outreach programs, and community center. Our goal is to join in Breakthrough’s mission by providing jobs for our community.
We want to empower our community, create jobs, and generate wealth in our neighborhood in a way that is ﬁnancially and ecologically sustainable. We believe good food has temendous power to bring people together, and can be used as a vehicle for social transformation.
More about Nick Greens:
Nick Greens started his growing career in 2002 as an apprentice grower for a hydroponics shop. Nick worked through several cycles/harvests in San Diego before venturing out on his own. In 2007, Nick moved to Humboldt County, California to work as an assistant grower for a collective of green houses. During his time in Northern California, Nick began experimenting with a vortex brewer to develop several recipes for compost teas.
In 2010, Nick moved back to Chicago to start growing produce for Blue Star Produce where he perfected his compost tea recipes and became a pioneer in organic microgreens production, working for and consulting many Chicago vertical farms including Garfield Produce, Plant Chicago, Farmbox, and Nick Greens Grow Team.
In 2014, Nick created the microgreens program at FarmedHere, building its first NFT systems, creating crop and lighting recipes, and helping improve monthly sales by nearly 20%. In 2016, Nick created a similar Microgreens program for Falling Waters Farms in Indianapolis, increasing its sales by nearly 50%.
Nick is passionate about educating a new generation of controlled environment farmers and has created many internship opportunities for at risk youth in urban Chicago. In 2016, Nick helped design and build the Food Science Lab at Schurz High School in Chicago, based on a STEM curriculum, that trains future farmers and supplies healthy food for the school cafeteria. Nick has personally mentored dozens of interns, and many remain working in the industry today.