Grow Nuts...Not Soybeans
Jamie Byron and Dog Hank

August 18, 2020

Grow Nuts...Not Soybeans

MIT Graduate, Aeronautical Engineer and Natural Systems Thinker, Jamie Byron, shares with us some thoughts on how he is attempting to change the world through the analysis and application of natural systems. Jamie shares some key insights into the benefits of studying nature and growing a more sustainable future, from his startup venture at MIT building in-home food growing systems, to designing and building sustainable ecosystems on his homestead in West Virginia.

Dreaming 10X: Sustainable Ecosystems

With a joyous chorus of frogs, crickets and cicadas singing in the background on his farm in West Virginia, we talked with Jamie Byron about his business ventures and passions for natural ecosystems. Jamie Byron is a rower, MIT graduate, TEDx speaker, and co-founder of start up, Grove Labs, which included investors such as Gary Vaynerchuk, Tim Ferris and many others. Jamie has a passion for physics, engineering, nature, and technology. When combining these, he and his colleague, Gabe Blanchet, built an aquaponics system in his dorm room which was the foundation for his Grove Labs start-up - building home systems to help people grow their own food.

Jamie says immersion in nature influenced who he is today. Because of this, his core mission has evolved into helping people reconnect to nature. With adults, he runs a consulting business to help people with ecological landscaping, such as trimming trees in ecologically beneficial ways, building ponds, and bringing food crops back to the land. With kids, Jamie’s Ted Talk talks about outdoor classrooms to teach biology, science, behavior, communication and systems thinking. Nature, as an educational platform, helps children experience learning in a new way, engages the brain differently, and helps them figure out the greatness inside (and outside) of themselves.

Play The Long Game For Greater Sustainability

Jamie currently resides on his homestead and works to build-out his own land. He talks about the value of mentorship and how he learned to become a climbing arborist and ecological landscaper. According to Jamie, more sustainble food farming is possible by playing the long game growing nut trees. Shellbark Hickory, Pecan, Walnut, Hazelnut and other nut trees have the ability to produce 10x more calories per acre over a 30 year timeframe than regular corn and soybean farming practices.

So dream 10x about sustainable farming, and maybe even grow some nut trees!

Jamie’s TEDx Talk

dream10x dream big podcast Grove Labs MIT Aeronautical Engineering Gabe Blanchet Alexandria Community Rowing T.C. Williams H.S. Systems Thinking permaculture Sep Holzer

Dialogue & Discussion