Sam Norton: Heron Farms (Charleston, SC)


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What if two of the 21st century’s largest problems: rising seawater levels and excess carbon dioxide, could be leveraged into next generation sustainable agriculture? That was the daunting research question that Sam Norton posed when he was in graduate school, and what eventually grew into Heron Farms in Charleston, SC. Heron Farms’ most recognizable product is the Charleston Sea Bean, produced in the hydroponic farm right off Meeting Street Road without any natural sunlight or freshwater. Chefs and home cooks -- including me -- have taken to it as a salt alternative, especially as a finishing salt type garnish, but it’s by no means the only thing happening at this cutting edge company. From intense data collection and analysis methods to experiments that can help astronauts on space stations eat better, the humble, deliciously edible sea bean collecting seawater in its cells with every tide is just the beginning.

311 episodes