Dave Hartshorn, one of three founders and creators of Green Mountain Harvest Hydroponic, is selling his shares in the business to his partners Ted and John Farr.
Hartshorn said he found himself always working, not getting enough sleep and felt his health was suffering.
The hydroponic growing operation produces lettuce, basil, watercress and other produce from large greenhouses just north of the property where Hartshorn and his partner Amy Todisco operate an organic farm and farm stand.
“It’s been a very successful fruition; John and Ted and I created a very successful business, but I realize I can’t do everything, sugaring, farming, farm stays and farm education,” Hartshorn said.
“Something had to give. I’d be up working in the greenhouse at 2 to 3 a.m., then making deliveries and then get down to the farm. It made for a long day,” he added.
Hartshorn said that the idea for the hydroponic business came while having drinks with his partners.
“We come from similar backgrounds and we decided to see if we could bring something to Vermont that could be done all winter – bring a trend to Vermont,” he said.
The result was a very successful business that operates year-round and generates very little waste.
“It is certainly the answer to diminished farmland and any scares of not being able to feed people. It is really efficient and it saves on a lot of inputs,” he said, noting that the perpetual argument about whether it is or isn’t organic persists.
While Hartshorn is leaving his day-to-day duties at Green Mountain Harvest as is Todisco, who handled the website and social media, they will continue with organic farm stand and will expand into farm-based educational programming.
“I’m excited about getting people on the farm for farm-based education programs. This is something Amy and I have been wanting to do and we’ll be able to offer some programming this summer. Our first group wants to camp in tents. I think it will be pretty safe this summer and we know that the virus doesn’t spread easily outside,” he said.
The Farrs sent Hartshorn and Todisco off with praises and thanks on social media. They praised his work ethic, savviness in marketing and management of the growing operation. They thanked Todisco for her hundreds of volunteer hours and her help in promoting the business as well as educating people about food and hydroponic growing.