Green Bridge Growers
Green Bridge Growers is a venture with a strong social mission, and sustainable practices are at their core. With 90% of adults with autism unemployed, Green Bridge Growers leverages new jobs for those with autism in our community -- using aquaponics to grow vegetables productively throughout the year.
Aquaponics, the innovative method of farming used in their venture, has the unique ability to grow fish and vegetables in tandem. Fish grow in tanks in a closed-loop ecosystem, where fish effluent is filtered and fertilizes the plants as they grow. The plants then cleanse the water for the fish. Aquaponics uses 90% less water than conventional farming, and has the additional benefit of reducing time to harvest by one-third. Plant growth is greatly accelerated by aquaponics!
Green Bridge Growers made tremendous progress through the Notre Dame entrepreneurial ecosystem. They found their feet at a local Startup Weekend, and were incubated by the Fellow Irish Social Hub (FISH) at Innovation Park Notre Dame, striving to be a powerful force for good. They garnered great success in Notre Dame's McCloskey Business Plan Competition, where they won the Klau Family Award for Greatest Social Impact in 2013.
With this momentum, they built a prototype facility on the grounds of Hannah & Friends, a community that strives to improve the lives of those with special needs. Their dedicated team built this prototype from the ground up, and now the fish and plants are flourishing.
Their customers include local high-end restaurants and groceries, and they've begun exploring a future relationship with Notre Dame Food Services.
Want to learn more? Visit their website here: http://www.greenbridgegrowers.org/