381: Elias Martinez on Indoor Farming without Barriers.
Witnessing the power of growing food for a community.
Elias grew up around urban farming & gardening in a rough part Miami called Opa-Lock-a. He is the son of immigrant parents who left Cuba & the Dominican Republic for political and opportunity reasons. As a child and teenager, he was introduced to urban farming and gardening by his grandfather, who fled Cuba during the Castro regime.
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Elias witnessed the power that growing food for the community can have after his mother presented neighbors with fresh fruits and vegetables grown in their garden. He started Kubed Root to create an ecosystem in which people can grow their own food and make money from it with little to no barriers to entry.
In This Podcast:
It was both a desire to share the gardening experience his grandfather gave him, and the lack of space in his home for anything that could produce enough food for his family that prompted Elias Martinez to start dreaming of a way to provide fresh greens to those who did not have easy access to garden space. His natural inclination to innovate solutions has helped him create a plan for an EPIC style of community garden – indoors! He shares that and more with us.
Listen in and learn about:
- Growing up in Florida with a grandfather who was a Cuban immigrant
- Witnessing the power of building relationships with food
- Learning how to farm and raise chickens with his grandfather
- Wanting to teach his children to grow food and researching microgreens
- Recognizing barriers to growing food indoors
- Envisioning business models from the customer’s perspective
- Designing a indoor community garden (EPIC call out!!)
- Getting positive feedback
- A design that is perfect for regions where half the year it is too cold to grow
- Focusing on unused retails spaces
- What microgreens are and why they are in demand
- Growing food and sharing – building this farther
As well as:
- His failure – A broken promise to build a garden for his daughters in time to grow for the season
- His success – Earning his master’s degree, as well as his honorable discharge from the military
- His drive – Innovation and efficiency
- His advice – Don’t be afraid of failure
Elias’s Book recommendations:
How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
How to reach Elias:
Facebook: Farmers United
Social Media: @kubedroot
To learn more about more about Growing Your Own Food
And to see the I’m an Urban Farmer line
Note: You can also find these books mentioned above at one of our favorite local independent bookstores and know that you are supporting a small business.