by Doreen Marion Gee –
On International Women’s Day, March 8, people all over the world celebrated the many gifts that females bestow upon this world. Seaside Magazine also honoured Tamara Knott with their prestigious 2018 Woman to Watch award. A visionary and a game changer, Tamara embodies the kind of female ingenuity that fuels innovation and progress.
Women have a uniquely intuitive “sixth sense:” an ability to see and understand things that are not readily apparent. It is part of their nature to be “big-picture-thinkers” and solution seekers. Accordingly, Tamara Knott reinvented herself when she had a baby at age 43. After leaving her nine to five job to be with her son, she envisioned a bolder future as an entrepreneur.
As she brainstormed business ideas, Tamara sensed the remarkable potential of hydroponic farming to put healthy food into the hands of more people.
A year-and-a-half ago, Tamara founded Bright Greens Canada, a hydroponic farming operation in a 40- by 10-foot freight container situated on a friend’s acreage in Central Saanich. In April, their “Leafy Green Machine” will get a twin brother. The innovative gardener grows non-GMO and pesticide-and-herbicide-free greens, lettuce, culinary herbs and microgreens (sprouts) in a water medium. Within a computer-monitored environment, the plants are placed in vertical rows, thus expanding the crop yield exponentially. According to Tamara’s website, “this small space can grow the equivalent of 1.5 acres of land with 90% less water.” The nutrient-rich plants are harvested and delivered the same day. Plus, you do not have to be a landowner to grow food like one.
Tamara’s business has taken off like wildfire: “Demand for my fresh produce is high and I sell over a 100 pounds every week. I am so grateful for all of the support of my family and community. Local chefs eagerly placed weekly standing orders which provided dependable cash flow in the early days.”
Seaside’s new “Woman to Watch” is a progressive thinker, using her foresight and ingenuity to create a healthier community. As we run out of land to grow crops on southern Vancouver Island and become more dependent on nutrient-poor and high-priced imported produce, many people do not have access to affordable, wholesome food. By producing a massive amount of fresh nutritious produce in a small space, hydroponic farming is a low-cost and sustainable solution to food insecurity. The only person in Greater Victoria with a “Freight Farm” operation, Tamara Knott stands on the cutting edge of a revolutionary new technology that will transform the nature of food production on this Island.
Congratulations, Tamara! You are a new-age pioneer, standing in the light of all the female visionaries that have gone before.
For more information, visit www.brightgreens.ca or watch a video tutorial at www.freightfarms.com.
Photo by Nunn Other Photography.