So much to do, so little time! It’s been a whirlwind the last couple of months, but I am proud to say that we are now into the funding stages of the project. We have a business plan and investment model for our investors, we are working on closing the deal for the site we have been negotiating on, and the interest in Greens & Gills and our plans grows by the day. Meetings have been taken with future buyers, and we know there is a serious market for our product! I will continue the marketing/pre-sales phase over the coming months, as we build up the equity in the business. The sky is the limit for our Windy City Greens. Both B:B and B:C sales channels exist in abundant supply. With our initial installation – 2 acre production facility – we won’t even come close to touching 1% of the demand that exists in the Chicago/IL market. Considering less than 1% of the consumable produce in IL is grown by farms inside the state, we are positioned well to capitalize on this supply-demand gap. Furthermore, IL passed HB3990 – The Local Foods, Farms and Jobs Bill in 2009. The Bill mandates that State Agencies or Institutions must buy 20% of their food from local farms by the Year 2020. For institutions receiving any funding from the state (or all of it), they must purchase 10% or more of their food from local farms by 2020. Again, Greens & Gills is positioned perfectly to help these businesses, hospitals, schools, etc start buying more food locally to meet the demands of the mandate.
We are confident with our business model (controlled environment agriculture) vs. some of the more “hyped” models getting all of the attention. It’s interesting to me, as many of these operations claim aquaponics to be a “new” technology. As Rebecca Nelson points out in her most recent blog post “A Little Perspective on the Growth of Aquaponics”, there is nothing new about aquaponics as a technology or mode for plant production. Taking the technology into the private sector in large-scale operations is what is new related to aquaponics. We have these public institutions to thank for researching the economic viability of aquaponics as a means for commercial production of local, herbicide-free and pesticide-free produce.
With this in mind, Greens & Gills, LLC plans to mirror the highly successful domestic hydroponic operations – with both of us operating in the Controlled Environment Agriculture industry. By owning land, building greenhouses on the land and using science-backed aquaponics technology, we have a highly replicable business model. We currently own the domain names for many future brands and markets we hope to expand to, so look for us in the future! 😉 For now, I wanted to post a video from Youtube that illustrates what a commercial controlled environment hydroponic production facility looks like. It is our intention to mirror these hydro installations and operate 100s of acres in multiple markets across the US via aquaponic production. Enjoy!