About Us

NanoFarms USA is a network of individual workers’ cooperatives or guilds that provide organic gardening services to private landowners and grow organic produce for local sale. It is a joint venture between Ignatius Press and Lighthouse Catholic Media. Ignatius Press was founded in 1978 by Fr. Joseph D. Fessio, SJ,. It is one of the top religious publishers in the world and the primary publisher of Pope Benedict XVI’s works in the United States. Lighthouse Catholic Media is the largest distributor of Catholic audio presentations working with over 7,000 parishes around the world in both English and Spanish. NanoFarms USA has taken shape under the guidance of many individuals and experts in business, horticulture, law, administration, and technology.

The program has the support and prayers of Pope Francis.

The Challenge

It started with an idea by three priests to help the un/underemployed Catholic faithful find work that is dignified, honorable, and profitable within their communities.

Presently the number of Americans living below the poverty level is 14.5% or 45 million people. The Hispanic poverty rate is much greater, 23.5%. This number equates to a family of four living on less than $23,550 each year.

In reality, there are many more people living just above this level that don’t get counted. Most work several menial jobs with no opportunity to break out of this cycle, hoping to make ends meet each month. Part time work is easy to find but conditions are poor, the pay is low, and individuals have very little control over the hours they work each day and night. Time for their family is limited, time involved in the parish is less, often it is too difficult to attend weekly Mass. People who want to work should be compensated at a just wage level. Their work should satisfy their basic needs. They should have leisure time to spend with their family, with their friends, and with their parish.

The Solution

It starts at the parish and a thousand year-old concept that is being restored, the guild.   During medieval times guilds were formed by extended families with the spirit of association to promote common interests. Early guilds were voluntary associations for religious, social and commercial purposes.  Guilds provided their members with education, training and faith formation, with work and protection from fraud and dishonesty. Regulations in the guild protected the rights of everyone and there was equality between all members with regard to the amount of work each member accomplished. “In Germany, labor was conceived by guild members as the complement of prayer, as the foundation of a well regulated life.”

Guilds still flourish throughout the world today and provide similar benefits to their members as in the past. NanoFarms USA is reestablishing the guild in the United States to provide education, training, employment, and spiritual formation through the Augustine Institute’s SymbolonTM: The Catholic Faith Explained digital program.

Under our guidance and support, parishes are able to create a guild where members are invited to work and share in a living inspired by Catholic religious principles. Guilds are set up as an independent entity where each member is a part owner and has a controlling share. Members will share in the work, in the profits, and have the time to participate more frequently in and help to grow the parish community.

The Work

There are two models of work; the first is the installation, service and maintenance of individual private gardens. Guild members install organic gardens for homeowners where homeowners benefit from the production of healthy fruits and vegetables in their own backyard.

In the second model, guild members install and maintain market gardens with the purpose of selling produce to local customers by selling directly through farmers’ markets, parish markets, market days, or to local restaurants, and grocers.  Estimated earnings for each guild member is as high as $75,000,  greater than 3 times the poverty level most struggle to earn. In our model more than 95% of all revenue is kept by the guild and distributed to its members.

NanoFarms USA uses sound organic principles for our gardens.  Each garden is custom designed, planted, and grown after input is collected from the homeowner. Information such as food likes, family size, garden space, and geographic region is used to develop individual planting plans for each garden. We use an online interface that is easy to access and simple to navigate.  Homeowners simply select the fruits and vegetables they like and NanoFarms USA figures the rest. We calculate food quantities based on variables such as: available planting space, sunlight, water, plant yield, and length of growing season. We choose the best varieties adapted to the local climate, screening plants for hardiness, yield, and of course, taste.

BioIntensive Farming

One of the aspects of NanoFarms is the use of BioIntensive principles in farming. In 1974 John Jeavons published How to Grow More Vegetables which has since produced in total eight editions. The methods promoted by Jeavons are a combination of the French Intensive and Biodynamic farming. This type of farming seeks to use the least amount of resources and space, and produce the least amount of waste in order to create a system that is almost entirely sustainable.

Grow My Own Food

More than ever, people want food that is good for the body and soul. People want food that is sustainable and ecologically friendly. People want food that is local—they don’t only want to know where their food comes from, but they want to know who grows it. They may even want to grow their food themselves. People also want to know that those working for the company they are buying from are happy and well-treated.

Are you interested in growing your own food? Do you want a sustainable BioIntensive garden? Do you want us to maintain your garden after we build it? Do you want us to teach you how to maintain it? We can do it all. If you are interested, contact us.