Each year, Martha Stewart and the editors of Martha Stewart Living honor American entrepreneurs and small business owners for their dedication to producing innovative, high-quality products. This year, three companies from the green industry made the list:
- Rainbow Iris Farms in Bedford, Iowa, is a mail order nursery specializing in high-performing irises for modern gardeners. Kelly Norris, a writer and speaker who is also the director of horticulture at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, convinced his parents to buy the farm at age 15. He has focused on breeding unique iris varieties ever since.
- Gotham Greens supplies local restaurants and grocery stores with leafy greens, herbs and tomatoes grown in greenhouses located on urban rooftops in Chicago and New York City. Three urban apartment-dwellers, Viraj Puri, Eric Haley and Jennifer Nelkin Frymark, started the business in 2010.
- Annie’s Annuals & Perennials of Richmond, Calif., specializes in rare and unusual plants, including cottage-garden heirlooms and California natives. Owner Annie Hayes grows more than 2,000 varieties and trials at least 100 plants every year.