Cambrian College’s applied research division along with its partners, Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and Greenhouses Canada, have collaborated to design, build, and test an all-season greenhouse using energy-efficient techniques and materials.

Their all-season greenhouse is now bearing fruit and vegetables, including cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, and peppers, in Espanola, Ontario. A commercial scale model of this greenhouse will begin construction in Whitefish River First Nation during the spring of 2016.

The main challenge for all-season greenhouse growers in Northern Ontario is heating costs over the winter months, which leaves only five to six months of growing in the North. The building techniques and materials used in this project reduce energy needs, making regional food production a viable industry, the college said.

The project was developed using solar thermal wall construction, in-ground heat batteries and insulation to prevent heat loss in winter.