Green BEAN sows seeds of growth

November 14, 2012
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Green BEAN Delivery’s roots may be in central Indiana, but the homegrown firm also is planting itself in Cincinnati—literally.

The Indianapolis-based company, which delivers organic produce and natural groceries, is leasing a portion of the Cincinnati Zoo’s 528-acre EcOhio property and already has harvested the first crop of winter squash grown there. Cabbage should be out of the field in the next few weeks.

Founded in 2007 as Farm Fresh Delivery LLC, Green BEAN launched its 60-acre Feel Good Farm last year in Sheridan, north of Indianapolis. This summer, it added the 50-acre EcOhio Farm in suburban Cincinnati.

Matt EwerGreen BEAN Delivery co-founder Matt Ewer is growing the firm. (Photo courtesy of Green BEAN Delivery)

Co-founders Matt Ewer and Elizabeth Blessing always intended to run a farming operation, but the couple decided to establish the delivery service first.

“We set it up backwards,” Ewer said. “We wanted to make sure the distribution mechanism was set before we started producing.”

Mission accomplished. Green BEAN—for Biodynamic, Education, Agriculture, Nutrition—has 165 employees and annual revenue exceeding $10 million, Ewer said.

Customers sign up to receive deliveries in Green BEAN’s signature produce bins (green, naturally) every week or two. The minimum order is $35. Ewer credits the firm’s success to a growing interest in fresh, healthy food.

“There is a tremendous demand for local and sustainable food,” particularly fruits and vegetables, he said. “We’re looking to fill that gap.”

The delivery service started in Indianapolis and now also is available in Fort Wayne, Muncie, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton and Louisville.

As the delivery service grew, Ewer said, it made since to expand production. He called the EcOhio project a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to work with the zoo, which gained national renown after making sustainability a priority in 2006.

Ewer has a three-part plan for the property, starting with its certification as an organic farm. Next up: producing nutrient-rich hay and vegetables to feed zoo animals. Ultimately, he wants to set up a compost facility using zoo waste.

“There is so much opportunity out there,” he said.

He also envisions an educational component for Green BEAN and its farms. Ewer said he is looking onto establishing a not-for-profit organization that would provide farming internships and job placement assistance, plus work with schools to develop a nutrition-education curriculum.

“Our company is so much more than the green bins,” he said.

Indeed, Green BEAN on Wednesday was scheduled to donate more than three tons of fresh produce to Indianapolis-based Second Helpings Inc., making good on a promise to contribute two to four pounds of food for every person who supported public radio station WFYI-FM 90.1 during its fall fund drive. Nearly 2,500 pledges came in during the October campaign.


 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...

  2. 85 feet for an ambitious project? I could shoot ej*culate farther than that.

  3. I tried, can't take it anymore. Untill Katz is replaced I can't listen anymore.

  4. Perhaps, but they've had a very active program to reduce rainwater/sump pump inflows for a number of years. But you are correct that controlling these peak flows will require spending more money - surge tanks, lines or removing storm water inflow at the source.

  5. All sewage goes to the Carmel treatment plant on the White River at 96th St. Rainfall should not affect sewage flows, but somehow it does - and the increased rate is more than the plant can handle a few times each year. One big source is typically homeowners who have their sump pumps connect into the sanitary sewer line rather than to the storm sewer line or yard. So we (Carmel and Clay Twp) need someway to hold the excess flow for a few days until the plant can process this material. Carmel wants the surge tank located at the treatment plant but than means an expensive underground line has to be installed through residential areas while CTRWD wants the surge tank located further 'upstream' from the treatment plant which costs less. Either solution works from an environmental control perspective. The less expensive solution means some people would likely have an unsightly tank near them. Carmel wants the more expensive solution - surprise!

ADVERTISEMENT