An Urban Farm with a Mission

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How one aquaponics farm is overcoming stereotypes and providing jobs for young adults with autism.

A shocking 90 percent of adults with autism are chronically unemployed even though many have college degrees. When recent graduate Chris Tidmarsh and many of his peers fell into that 90 percent, he decided to find a solution; using his degree in chemistry and environmental studies, Tidmarsh founded Green Bridge Growers, an urban farm with a unique social mission.

Green Bridge Growers is a year round aquaponics greenhouse that uses 90 percent less water than a traditional farm through a symbiotic relationship between the fish and the plants that they grow. Tidmarsh and co-founder Jan Pilarski are not only bringing 45,000 pounds of local, organic produce to South Bend, Indiana, they are also working to provide jobs to skilled young adults with autism.

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