The HarvestScape mission and vision is a sustainable food future where all people have access to fresh, local, healthy, and affordable food grown fairly and compassionately. It is their goal to see cities and towns around the globe “pervasively integrating sustainable agriculture into the urban-built environment.”
HarvestScape is a Washington State Social Purpose Corporation (SPC), a designation Washington has added in the last couple of years. The SPC structure allows a corporation to have a more social and environmental orientation by ensuring that sustainability and service to employees and the community are supported alongside profitability. HarvestScape found their ecological, human, and fiscal goals were perfectly matched with the new structure. Their initial products include a high-quality urban greenhouse and a HarvestNode, both of which are 100 percent parts and labor sourced or re-sourced in the USA.
The urban greenhouse utilizes 100 percent recyclable materials along with cutting edge design and eco-friendly technology giving it a longer life, lighter weight, and durability. The greenhouses are constructed of lightweight aluminum framing and an ultra clear film called ECTFE that has been used successfully in photovoltaic panel, architectural, and aerospace applications. Because the frame and the film (approximately 1 percent the weight of glass) are both lightweight, and there are no “panels” that can blow off in the wind, it is highly suited to rooftop applications.
HarvestNode is an up-cycled shipping container re-fitted and designed for safe and healthy dry/cold food storage and distribution that is manufactured in partnership with Berg Company here in Spokane. Food distribution organizations, food hubs, and farmers are ideal partners for HarvestNode’s turnkey solution. The package complies with food safety regulations and is easily financed through USDA’s Farm Storage Facility Loan Program due to its design and classification.
Mike Hannum, co-founder and CEO of HarvestScape, has lead his team to a new partnership with The Wolff Company, a leading developer in the region. The Wolff Company will be installing HarvestScape’s greenhouses as an amenity in one of their Spokane Valley properties while looking at other opportunities in the western U.S. Inland Group, another leading developer in the region, is currently installing HarvestScape’s urban greenhouses in four of their Affinity Active Adult Communities across the Inland Northwest. “The buy-in we are seeing for our products is highly rewarding and encouraging. We are excited to move into the next phase of development and hope to see more backyard use in the near future,” says Hannum.
The HarvestNode is slated for use by Catholic Charities Spokane as part of their Food For All Program in partnership with other local community development organizations, bringing affordable healthy food to low-income or hard-to-access residents.
HarvestScape’s suite of products serve to support the growing trend of farm-to-table and local food system initiatives. They are designed to make as little ecological impact as possible while providing purpose and intention for a healthy lifestyle for its users, recipients, and employees.
Pool World Celebrates the Big 4-0
No matter their age, everyone can find themselves reminiscing about how times have changed. Pool World in the Spokane Valley has seen the changes like images in a scrapbook. The company was started by Kerry Henderson, an electrical engineer, and his wife Lyla in 1976, with the idea that doing things right for the customer would build the best relationships. This business model took root and this year they celebrate their 40th year.
When Kerry decided to look into a new line of work, he and his family decided to open a pool and spa company in 1,800 sf on East Sprague in the Spokane Valley. The ownership has seen little change in the past forty years, with the exception of Mark Henderson taking over the business from his father and the company growing into 44,000 square feet at the same location with a total of four stores in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene.
The product lines, however, have changed with the times. It used to be that backyard pools were simple rectangles of steel-walled, vinyl-lined fun, and hot tubs looked more like wine barrels. Today pools are constructed of steel and concrete, are found in many different shapes and sizes, come with automatic cleaners and water care systems, remote controls, specialty lighting, eco-friendly heat pumps, and an enormous array of tile and liner options including LED-infused water features.
Pool World is proud that they have been able to maintain the same level of commitment to their clients and employees throughout the years. Mark Henderson says, “It’s rare to find a company that is able to keep their labor force busy year-round in this industry. We hire a lot of vets and have committed to providing year-round work for all our workers so they can support their families. That’s why we bank all of our capital improvements for the slow season. This keeps everyone engaged year-round and gets our maintenance and expansion projects into the project calendar.”
It’s this type of innovative thinking and commitment to the community that has set Pool World apart from the competition for the past 40 years. They thank the Spokane region for all of its trust and ask that the community continue developing and strengthening locally owned businesses by shopping at home. Happy birthday Pool World. We look forward to another 40.