AN ART AND A SCIENCE
Indoor farming requires a green thumb, yes, but also a fair amount of engineering savvy.
Growing up, Daniel didn’t see his father every day because his parents were divorced, but they spent many weekends together. Milan was an environmental engineer and ran his own company, Fountainhead Engineering. His projects often took him to old industrial sites that needed cleaning up. Daniel liked to explore them, poking around old furnaces that once melted scrap metal for steel-making plants, climbing on defunct locomotive trains, or driving Bobcat loaders. He also helped his dad take notes and pictures. “I’ve been working for my dad since I was old enough to pick up a rake,” he says.
Daniel always wanted to know how stuff worked. He constantly demolished and rebuilt his electronics. In third grade he invented windscreen wipers for his glasses, powering them with a tiny motor. When he was ten, he took his father’s computer apart without asking. Daniel could have been an engineer at Apple or Google and, for a short time, he appeared to be on his way.
When Daniel was in high school, his mother moved him and his older sister Laura, a bighearted teenager who liked to volunteer in soup kitchens, to Traverse City, Michigan, four hours away from where the kids grew up and where Milan still lived. Laura had been acting out, hanging out with friends who