Starsiak Hawk and Karen E. Laine, the dynamic daughter-mother Two Chicks and a Hammer team, began rehabbing houses in urban Indianapolis nearly two decades ago. The pair kickstarted their well-known business with a house that needed a lot of love. After many years and dozens of houses later, mom Karen has retired and left the partnership in the capable hands of her daughter. But, thanks to their popular tv show, HGTV’s “Good Bones” and Mina’s break out spinoff HGTV’s “Good Bones: Risky Business,” Mina continues to revolutionize and revitalize the city they love with sustainable architecture. One product, SYNLawn’s soy-biobased grass, is a regular in their renovations.
“We use SYNLawn’s grass in many of our projects because of its design, performance and sustainability features,” says Mina. “It’s great this natural choice is also benefiting U.S. soybean growers like the ones here in our home state of Indiana.”
SYNLawn uses soy protein in adhesives to install their grasses that are also made with a soybean oil-based backing. Use of soy and other plant-based materials allow many of SYNLawn’s artificial grasses to qualify for the United States Department of Agriculture Certified Biobased Product Label. They displace petroleum and can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The grass stays lush and green without requiring fertilizer, pesticides, mowing or water; a big boon in the neighborhoods where Two Chicks and a Hammer work.
“We live in these neighborhoods, and we want to revitalize the communities around us,” says Mina. “Sustainability is something we strive to think about as much as possible while we’re working to revitalize Indianapolis one property at a time.’”
Like the Two Chicks, SYNLawn Indiana’s Lorraine Phillips Vavul resides in Indianapolis and is a volunteer with the Historic Urban Neighborhoods of Indianapolis (HUNI). Vavul takes special delight in a comprehensive remodel and historic save in the Fountain Square neighborhood. The house’s six-episode big HGTV reveal started in September 2022 and wrapped up in mid-October with a significant 2,700-square-foot SYNLawn exterior installation. “Mina’s vision to include a technologically-advanced, environmentally-friendly synthetic turf like SYNAugustine X47 around the full exterior of the house was truly the cherry on top of a beautiful sundae, because it ensures a plush green vibrancy for this property year-round,” notes Vavul. She adds, “It also provides a low maintenance surface with no mud or grass stains if the house is used for future outdoor weddings or parties. Our SYNLawn Indiana Team has enjoyed working with Mina and Karen on several projects as they installed safe, clean, and green SYNLawn to add value to their renovation projects.”
“We soybean growers appreciate how SYNLawn proudly tells their customers that they use U.S. Soy to make their products both sustainable and high performing,” says Jim Douglas, a United Soybean Board Director and Indiana soybean grower. “I am delighted that our home-state HGTV stars are also making this natural choice.”
Because of the potential for biobased products to create new markets for soybeans, U.S. soybean farmers have invested millions of dollars to research, test and promote biobased products. Much of this work was done through the United Soybean Board, which is composed of 77 U.S. soybean farmers appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to invest soybean checkoff funds. As stipulated in the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Services has oversight responsibilities for the soybean checkoff.