by Michael Thompson – October 7, 2015
With green on their minds, a pair of Hokies recently launched a startup they hope will prove to be a fertile business.
Virginia Tech grads Mark Tavares and Alex Kepner this summer started Project Green, a lawn care company that uses mostly organic products to provide seed germination, environmentally friendly weed control, and plant health and root improvement.
Tavares, who studied turf grass management at Tech and works at Aquarius Supply as a turf consultant, said the idea for Project Green came from a desire to find a greener way to care for lawns. He said many companies use mostly synthetic products that can be harmful to the environment. He said many synthetic products keep lawns looking green without making them healthier.
“You’re not doing anything for the soil,” Tavares said. “All you’re doing is feeding what’s there.”
Project Green sees potential in the use of bionutrients, which break down nutrients in soil to make them available to plants. Tavares said a Pennsylvania company called Holganix designed Project Green’s bionutrients to use microbes that are indigenous to Virginia. If microbes are not indigenous or are from some other state, for example, they can get killed off instead of helping the soil make the most of its nutrients, Tavares said.