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Venture Out: Southeast Indiana Business Incubator

Venture Out: Southeast Indiana Business Incubator

Spend a dollar at a big box national chain store and the money leaves the area, but buy local and that money stays at home. Profits from a national chain go to stock holders in distant locations, but local profits go to individuals nearby causing that dollar to circular more quickly. A strong local economy is a key to a sustainable future. Recognizing this fact, the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce formed Venture Out Business Center in 1996. It provides an affordable space for entrepreneurs seeking to start new businesses. In addition to a place to operate, Venture Out offers…
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Floral Footprints: Bluebird Flower Farm

Floral Footprints: Bluebird Flower Farm

(ed. Bluebird Flower Farm is formerly Petals @ the Market) We are learning that flying fresh flowers all around the globe isn’t good for our planet (or frequently our workers) and even flowers grown in hothouses can have a huge carbon footprint. Local flowers that are part of our landscape are a lovely way to brighten your table top sustainably. When we visited the farmer’s market in Orleans last month, we stopped by Bluebird Flower Farm’s stall. Owner Stephanie Todd told us about her idea to make the most of her summer break as a teacher to sell flowers from her…
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A Fresh Look at Irvington

A Fresh Look at Irvington

Summer Sunday afternoons in the Irvington neighborhood of Indianapolis are special. Around 10am, tents start popping up all over the northwest corner of Ellenberger Park (5301 East Saint Clair) and tables are put out. Within just an hour or so, booths full of fruits & vegetables, crafts, art, soaps, and honey are greeting people and selling their products. It’s not the only farmer’s market of its kind, but it’s a welcome fixture in a state that continues to get 90% of its food from outside our borders. We took full advantage of our afternoon at the Irvington Farmers Market, walking around…
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Solar Chat: Ryan Zariki, Whole Sun Designs

Solar Chat: Ryan Zariki, Whole Sun Designs

Meet Ryan Zaricki, founder extraordinaire of Whole Sun Designs in Wadesville, IN. He grew up knowing that you don’t swim in the Ohio River, you don’t eat the fish, but that never sat right with him. After attending Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, he headed out to Colorado and worked in green buildings, learning skills in sustainable trades, thinking more critically about electricity and water. He was having fun. His dad needed his help building a house, so he found himself back in Southern Indiana, and he worked for another solar contractor for awhile, moving back and forth…
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Solar Chat: Rectify Solar

Solar Chat: Rectify Solar

Phil Teague was a young man working for Marathon Oil. The bills were getting paid and he was earning a decent living. Then one day he learned about the Alberta tar sands oil and its potentially huge environmental impact. He decided that while the paycheck was nice, he couldn’t live with himself in his job. Thus was born Rectify Solar LLC. Phil with his two brothers formed the company in 2013 to promote solar energy. Based in Indianapolis and Boonville, they perform energy audits and install solar panels as well as vehicle charging stations.  Phil is now a Board Member…
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