Producer Spotlight: Grateful Greens

August 31, 2020

Author: Laura Carbonneau 

Meet one of our newest producers—Grateful Greens! Based in Brattleboro, VT, Grateful Greens is a new business that approaches farming differently. With an all-indoor facility and highly nutrient-rich soil, their greens are out of this world and will be accessible year-round. They are developing their systems to be as self-sufficient as possible and to have the largest positive environmental impact by using solar, energy-efficient GREE heat pumps for climate control, developing a rainwater catchment system to water the plants they grow, using plant-based PLA for all of their packaging, and looking to improve

Owner James Mayer took some time to share about this new business and what makes them stand out!

What makes your produce unique?

Grateful Greens uses creative, low impact, indoor farming technology that utilizes solar, rainwater, eco-friendly systems, and Love. We grow in a nutrient-rich organic soil mix with organic seed from High Mowing Seeds to grow healthy, tasty, and extraordinarily sustainable crops, all year long.

What is your favorite product?

Our Sunflower Greens! This is the first crop we’re growing. The health benefits of sunflower greens are amazing. They’re super nutrient-dense, and their flavor and appearance are so unique and pleasant!

Why is selling locally and the local food movement important to you?

Strengthening the localization of our food systems is the main purpose of Grateful Greens! It is clear to us that local and proper food production and distribution are vitally important to the health of our selves, our local economies, and the Earth! Indoor farming is a valuable growing technique that can help us to be totally self-sufficient with our food needs, especially in the winter

How does working with Food Connects help your business and what are you excited about in this new partnership?

Partnering with Food Connects was a great accomplishment for Grateful Greens! The work that Food Connects does is so valuable to us all right now, such as their leadership in the Farm to School movement, their immense support of local food producers, and their curbside ordering program. Their vision for “healthy families, thriving farms, and connected communities” aligns greatly with the purpose of Grateful Greens to empower the food system of the Northeast to become healthier and self-sufficient, year-round. Partnering has given us a great opportunity to offer our Sunflower Greens to many retail and food service organizations in New England. I am especially excited to provide our nourishing greens to our schools in the region! Everyone at Food Connects is so kind and helpful and it’s clear that they want to help us succeed.

What inspired you to start Grateful Greens? What are some of your hopes for the future?

I have always been entrepreneurial and a lover of nature at heart. Before I founded Grateful Greens, I was working on a project that made me money and was helping others but did not have the immense potential impact that I knew I wanted to make. I got the initial inspiration from a YouTube video about indoor farming. Something instantly clicked inside me and I felt “This is it!” Since then, the vision has expanded greatly: from growing some greens in my bedroom closet, to a project that has the support of a very talented team of Vermont innovators (Delta Vermont) and is on the path of providing immense value to the food system and health of the Northeast. My biggest hope for this project is to greatly increase the self-sufficiency and health of the Northeast food system and its people.

Any events coming up or fun facts about your business/products?

We are talking with the arts organization Epsilon Spires to collaborate on offering events at their venue, where leaders in the local food movement can visit to educate and provoke thoughts and discussion around improving our food systems, as well as empowering ourselves and communities. We are also composting all the post-harvest root, stem, and used soil material to be reused in community projects that will hopefully unite, heal, and feed our communities. We have no solid plans yet, but I am hoping to create some type of permaculture farm/garden or similar projects in Brattleboro and surrounding areas. If an organization or individual has any ideas or would like to collaborate, please contact us!

How are you responding to the COVID-19 Crisis?

We are participating in the CARES Act’s “Everyone Eats” program, donating to the Vermont Foodbank regularly, and hope to supply Sunflower Greens for the Farmers To Families Food Box program.

Anything else you would like to share?

We will be expanding soon (creating another location) to grow several other crops to be locally available year-round. Let us know what crops you’d like to be locally available and fresh year-round!

This story by Food Connects originally appeared at https://www.foodconnects.org/fh-news-hub/2020/2020/8/31/producer-spotlight-grateful-greens 

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