Here at The Greater Green we have a passion for protecting our planet and all that is sacred upon it. Our business has blossomed from the basic belief that compassion and justice do have a place in the business world, and that when we uphold the standards of the “Triple Bottom Line” (social, environmental, and financial outcomes) in every decision we make, we create a better world. We believe that natural, safe, and organic products protect not only our individual health and harmony, but create joy and personal happiness by empowering us to live in harmony with our surroundings.
A few years back, we realized it was time for a new adventure, time to say good-bye to the big city, to reconnect with a way of life lost and unknown to us. Moving to the country was an adventure beyond our wildest dreams. As city dwellers, we had never actually had a garden in the city, yet suddenly we were planting every vegetable and herb we could think of on our small organic farm. We battled many pests and diseases (organically of course!) our first summer, and have learned (and continue to learn) only what sound experience can teach us. We’re beginning to understand the deep connection to the earth that is inherently present in the country. Every season brings its own surprises. We can actually point to the farm where much of our food is grown, if not from our own. Neighbors kindly contribute countless pieces of wisdom that only country folk know, and we have begun to feel the pulse of the land beating in our hearts. We have re-learned what it means to be a guest on this living planet, to use, but not abuse, all of its many gifts. We now know that it is not only possible to live a life that treads lightly and treads gently, but it is a life of meaning and fullness and joy.
We have turned our lifelong passion for natural living into a business that, we hope, will help others find healthy living meaningful, fulfilling, and affordable. We are here to create joy, build a healthy planet, and make some friends. We do this by supporting manufacturers who produce products in environmentally and socially sustainable ways, by contributing to charities like Heifer International and Trees for the Future, and by running our own business with as small a footprint as possible. You can read all about it in “Our Green Commitment“.
We have so much to learn, still, and so we hope that this website can serve as a forum for discussion and sharing of ideas. Life is a learning process, and when we are lucky, the learning never ends.
Joanna and Alex Livieratos currently live on 22 acres in Southwest Michigan, where they run their family business, The Greater Green Farm and Store.
About Joanna Livieratos
After graduating from The University of Miami with a BS in Biology and a BA in English Literature, Joanna moved to Japan, where she taught English at a Japanese Junior High School in Gunma for three years. When she returned to the US, she received a Masters in Teaching from National-Louis University, and taught elementary school for three years in Chicago before moving to a small farm in Michigan with her husband. She now teaches adult education courses here in SW Michigan for adults returning to complete their high school diploma. In the summertime, Alex and Joanna sell organic, heirloom seedlings at Farmers Markets, raise chickens and pigs, and sell natural, safe home products on their website, The Greater Green. Joanna also writes a weekly blog, The Adventures in Eco-Living, is a This Next Maven for Green Living, is a self-taught web designer, and volunteers with We Care, Inc. to provide weekly community dinners to those in need.
About Alex Livieratos
Coming from a family of skilled carpenters, Alex has been holding a hammer in his hands since he was old enough to walk. Years spent managing his previous family business, Chicago Booth, which manufactured high-end wooden restaurant furniture, taught Alex the skills and knowledge necessary to become a master craftsman. He now crafts unique and sustainable wooden designs that are as beautiful as they are functional. Alex has also been designing IP camera solutions for small and large businesses for the past 10 years.
In his spare time he experiments with designing solar energy systems, thermal water heaters, and wind generators, among other sustainable projects, that will eventually allow his family to live “off the grid”. His latest projects include a portable solar watering cart for the farm, turning an old and retired landscaping edger motor into a leaf shredder, and building a dumping trailer out of scrap steel. He has been spotted numerous times with his wife camping out in their VW Vanagon, looking as comfortable and content as if they were in their own living room.