March 6, 2020, Kensington, P.E.I. – Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and Prince Edward Island Minister of Agriculture and Land Bloyce Thompson paid a visit to Schurman Family Farm in Kensington to announce an investment of $893,284 for an innovative project that will help increase energy-use efficiency and reduce fossil fuel use in their greenhouse production.
The Schurman family operates Atlantic Grown Organics which provides organically grown produce throughout Atlantic Canada. The operation will receive a federal investment of $446,642 under Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Agricultural Clean Technology Program, $271,467 from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), Regional Economic Growth through Innovation Program, $89,328 from the P.E.I. Department of Agriculture and Land and $85,847 from Atlantic Grown Organics.
Atlantic Grown Organics has been using waste bio-products as fuel for the operation of its greenhouses. The company’s operation has been able to make use of bio-waste from a local oilseed processing plant but has been required to supplement the system with fuel oil.
Through the support, the farm will test and demonstrate the adaptation of a clean technology boiler system, a first of its kind to be installed in North America. The new boiler system will help turn the greenhouse operation into 100-per-cent renewable heating, and promote the adoption of clean technologies in the sector.
“This first-of-its-kind technology to be installed in North America is a terrific example of how producers from coast to coast to coast are looking to grow greener,” Bibeau said in a press release. “Our government is committed to supporting research into sustainable agriculture practices. This project showcases how the ingenuity of our farm families in adopting new technologies can help Canada be a leader on sustainable farming and food.”
Thompson said the P.E.I. government believes in agriculture that is progressive and dynamic, while being both financially sound and environmentally responsible.
“Clean, renewable energy projects are part of reducing the ecological footprint of this vital industry.”
Marc Schurman, owner of Atlantic Grown Organics, said, “Greenhouses in our Canadian climate need a lot of energy and most greenhouses in Canada use fossil fuels for heat. Being able to grow local organic vegetables in a green way is certainly rewarding. There is a lot of risk in testing new technology.
“The funding from the Agricultural Clean Technology Program, ACOA and Canadian Agricultural Partnership Program was essential to lower the risk involved and realize the positive outcomes of the investment.”
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