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[sidebar] Beta Hatch

Since the summer of 2015, Beta Hatch has grown from one woman’s solitary experiment in her backyard “Bug Barn” in Ballard, into an innovative Pacific Northwest startup that today employs a team of eight. Their mission: to “think outside the field” and create a whole new sector of agriculture. Read on to discover why this is good news for gardeners.

Beta Hatch insect entrepreneur, Virginia Emery, PhD.

A conversation between editor Lorene Edwards Forkner and Virginia Emery, PhD

LEF: On your business card you call yourself an “Insect Entrepreneur,” please explain.

VE: I have a PhD in entomology from UC Berkeley and I’m passionate about bugs. I also think a lot about agriculture and how we’re going to feed our growing human population. At Beta Hatch we grow insect protein for animal feed using our expertise in entomology to raise the most efficient and nutritious insects. And a sterile by-product of that process is a balanced fertilizer and soil amendment.

LEF: How? Or I guess first I should say, why?

VE: When asked why—and we get that a lot—we ...


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