Commercial Hydroponic Production no more...
This year the remaining hydroponic lettuce system was converted to soil grown sub-tropical trees. For 35 years we produced high quality lettuce for the wholesale market using Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) in recirculated nutrified rainwater. A highly efficient production system for both labour and inputs.
Growing Sub-Tropical Fruit Trees in Canada!
Organic production of over 40 varieties of Citrus, 4 varieties of Avocado, Pineapple Guava, Passionfruit, Jujube and more... Intense flowering in spring and fruit production year round using minimal heating with renewable energy and thermal mass.
Anaerobic Digestion and Digeponics
The Garden strives to close its nutrient loop by using an automated Anaerobic Digester to process kitchen and greenhouse waste into biogas and fertilizer. Methane is used to cook and for wintertime CO2 enhancement in the greenhouse. The digestate is used as a soil amendment and in experiments with digeponic (Nutrient Film Technique) production of vegetables.
Sustainable Energy Systems
The greenhouse (6,000 square feet) is heated hydronically with a high efficiency wood gasifier furnace. The system is designed to maintain 4C in the coldest weather using forced air. Two insulated rainwater tanks (15,000 gallons) store heat and increase the efficiency of the furnace. Extensive biomass, in the form of hyperadobe walls, moderates the temperature and humidity. Energy curtains are used to assist in minimizing firewood use. Solar PV provides backup energy and a Solar Evacuated Tube system is being installed for the heat sink tanks.
Over 70,000 gallons (318,000 litres) of rainwater is collected and stored annually. Rainwater provides 100% of the farm's horticultural requirements. An effort has been made to use practical, accessible and inexpensive methods to collect and store water.
Preserving & Processing
Fruit, nuts, vegetables and herbs ripen year round at the Garden. Much of what isn't sold or eaten fresh, is preserved through canning, dehydrating, freezing and cold storage. The addition of sub-tropical fruit over the last few years has inspired many culinary experiments with fabulous results!