Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in agriculture but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lisa Merkle, Co-Founder of Imagine Farms, located in Miami, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are an Indoor Vertical Hydroponic Farm growing a range of leafy greens, petite root veggies, and gourmet mushrooms without pesticides or harsh chemicals. We produce an incredible amount of food on a compact footprint in the center of Miami, FL. In close proximity to where our customers live, work and play. This type of farming uses 97% less water when compared to a conventional farm; yields 55x more produce per unit of the area when compared with conventional farms. We imagined a better food system - so we built the farm of the future!
Tell us about yourself
We recognize that our food system is in trouble. Traditional Agriculture is plagued with problems, and it is accelerating. Indoor Ag addresses many of these problems - most notable water use and the opportunity to return mono-cropped fields to mother nature. Consumers are demanding fresh, healthy, safe, and convenient produce. We envision a future where each region will have an Indoor Vertical Hydroponic Farm that is sustainable and carbon-neutral - a combination of renewable energy and carbon redirection, zero waste, and a commitment to earth-friendly sustainable packaging. First Florida, then the rest of the world!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is applying the skills cultivated in my past professions to an emerging industry with the potential to make an incredible impact. Creating valuable goods and services that are planet positive nourishing my community.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest part about being a business owner is finding enough hours in the day to maintain the everyday minutia that makes the dream a reality.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Solicit advisors and mentors in the areas where you are not strong.
- Listen and pay attention.
- Set boundaries with partners, employees, vendors, and customers - communicate in a kind and clear way.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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