"Even with edible crops, there's a lot of synthetic very nasty chemicals that you can spray on these crops. So when your buying something certified organic you know your not getting those chemicals along with it," says Todd Lighthouse.
He sells his plants at area farmers markets and plans to set up a retail location of his own soon. He says over the past few years, he's seen a lot of growth in people looking for an organic alternative.
"Our business is growing more than 50% each year since we started to focus on food crops and this past season was our biggest growth yet. We can't grow fast enough, demand is there, market is there," Lighthouse adds.
Not only do they grow organic herbs and vegetables and ornamentals, the business has grown to include organic potting soil too. "We sell it at local garden centers. Nearly every organic farmer in our region grows in our potting soil. Even conventional farmers, some of them grow in our potting soil. The Wegmans organic research farm uses our potting soil. They are our biggest customer," Lighthouse says.
Many of the organic vegetables sold in Wegmans stores, started out in this soil. Lighthouse says it's nice knowing his passion for growing organic is catching on.
"It's not just the health benefits, but we see a lot of our customers just wanting to support the local food movement and support local farmers. It helps create community especially at the farmers markets."