Meet Jen - I have been asked quite a bit if I am an engineer or industrial designer, no I am not. In fact, I have spent the past 14 years guiding trips by ocean kayak, backpack, ski, and as a mountain rescue technician. So how did Green Thumb Technology come to be?
When Jen is not working, you will find her in the mountains or on the ocean with friends & her avalanche rescue dog, Neve.
I have always wanted to run my own business, and I wanted it to be something that contributed to taking care of our environment and contribute to society. I was studying an Interdisciplinary Masters degree at Royal Roads University, but felt too much time was spent on theories, problems and in general thinking too small. I wanted to talk solutions and do something!
In July 2013 I was researching how to make my patio garden more vertical.... the pots were taking over the deck and there was nowhere to sit! That's when I came across living walls. Plants growing vertically on a wall. They are fed nutrient water instead of growing in soil and are living wall-tapestries. I thought that was really cool, and wondered who is growing food this way?
Imagine being able to grow organic food inside your home year-round. No more shipping food from around the globe, no pesticides, no greenhouse gases. Totally organic, fresh & local - all the time!
Peppers from Mexico. I pulled these out of the grocery bag and they are already rotten! Peppers are rich in Vitamin C, but if they are not organic they are heavily sprayed with pesticides.
l live under the Squamish Chief, it's a beautiful 1800 foot granite monolith, with the Stawamus river underneath. In the winter the sun doesn’t crest the top of the Chief. Its dark, its cold, its wet, but inside my townhouse it is 15-25 degrees Celsius, the perfect climate for growing food! Last winter I grew bell peppers, tomatoes, herbs, and greens on my dining room wall. Here’s a picture from January of tomatoes, peppers, and oregano growing inside:
I have always made decisions based on my happiness, health & lifestyle...
I have traveled quite a bit. I have seen poverty, suffering, and cultures that place the greatest importance on relationships and community. I grew up in a single-mother home. My brother & I had a great childhood, but there were a few times when our cupboards and fridge were bare. A few family members have had cancer, 2 have passed away from it.
These have all been formative experiences that drive the values and vision of Green Thumb Technology. I believe, everyone deserves access to Organic food. Not the cheap, processed, chemical laden, and GMO foods - But REAL Food. Fresh, local, and organic.
That's why we sell Veggie-Walls to people who can afford them, and donate them to people who cannot!
I believe if we eat well, we feel better. Food is community. And with healthy people and communities we can make significant positive changes for our environment and society.
Thank you for reading my autobiography. I hope to hear from you and look forward to hearing your stories about what you are growing with your Veggie-Wall!
- Jen McGuinness, Founder of Green Thumb Technology