HALIBURTON, ONT. – The Growcer, an Ottawa-based start-up enabling local food production with hydroponic container farms, has partnered with Abbey Gardens to make locally and sustainably grown food available year-round for the Haliburton community.
The Growcer, Abbey Gardens, community members, and project partners, FedDev Ontario and Laidlaw Foundation, came together for a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the addition of the hydroponic container farm to the community. The new addition will allow Abbey Gardens to provide fresh produce year-round through its Food Hub initiative.
The Growcer retrofits old shipping containers to become indoor farms that can grow fresh greens year-round. The “indoor farm,” or hydroponic growing system, uses nutrient-rich water instead of soil to grow plants and can grow produce in the harshest conditions.
Abbey Gardens is a local farm and social enterprise in Haliburton, Ont. that focuses its efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and foster sustainable initiatives. It runs a Food Hub that sells fresh food from its two-acre market garden as well as goods from local businesses. However, what can be grown on its two-acre farm outside is limited by the climate and length of the growing season in Haliburton, which is shorter than its counterparts in southern Ontario. By adding a Growcer system, Abbey Gardens extends its growing season by months enabling them to supply their community with fresh and sustainable green produce year-round.
With the new system, Abbey Gardens plans on establishing a year-round produce subscription box and partnering with local restaurants to supply produce. The addition of a hydroponic growing system will also add to the educational opportunities available for the community about sustainable growing techniques.
Beyond selling food, The Food Hub operates as a social enterprise and profits go directly back into Abbey Gardens to help support educational programs for the local community and facilities. For Abbey Gardens, partnering with The Growcer was aligned with the organization’s interest in supporting local entrepreneurs in Canada.
Quotes “We’re super excited to have invested in the Growcer here at our property both as a demonstration for year-round growing and to be able to provide leafy greens to our community!” – Heather Reid, Operations Director, Abbey Gardens
“Growcer is extremely excited to partner with Abbey Gardens in order to bring fresh, local produce to the Haliburton community year-round. We support their strong focus on sustainability and cannot wait to see the ripple effect this will have for food accessibility.”- Corey Ellis, Co-Founder and CEO, The Growcer