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US (IN): Greenhouse grower helps others with autism

Chris Tidmarsh has autism. He landed a great job as an environmental researcher after college, but then he lost the position.

"The office that I was working in, they expected to follow instructions verbally," he explains. "I'm more of a visual learner."

With the help of his mother, that led to the birth of Green Bridge Growers, a commercial greenhouse in South Bend that provides fresh vegetables and flowers to local restaurants and florists.

The two combined their strong suits. Chris brought his passion for the environment and science, and Jan, a long-time professor, took over the business part of Green Bridge.

"It was a leap of faith for me. I was working and teaching here locally at Saint Mary's College," Jan says. "As a mother and someone concerned with social justice, this just seemed the right thing to do."

Employing their first four full-time employees this month, Jan says they've grown by leaps and bounds from their humble beginnings in 2013.

"We now have two 2,000-square-foot greenhouses," Jan says.

And with land that extends beyond these greenhouses, this young entrepreneur and his mom plan to expand their field of dreams to help many more.

Read more at WNDU (Maureen McFadden)

Publication date: 1/17/2018



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