CAN (ON): Dairy farm throws vertical veggies into the mix

A surge in “eating local”, as well as a generation of farmers looking to produce food in a sustainable manner has given rise to farmers switching to methods that are better for the environment and their livestock. Lorhill Farms, just west of New Hamburg, is one of the vanguard spearheading sustainable agriculture.

Lorhill Farms was formerly a dairy farm, but as the fourth generation of the Wagler family took over the homestead, the business branched into several, environmentally conscious departments. Tyler and Maegan Wagler Scheerer look after the market gardens, landscape business, and poultry divisions; Dwayne and Tonia Streicher oversee indoor hydroponics and beef and pork production; and original owners Larry and Pat Wagler consult in all areas including a spiritual retreat on the farm.

At the forefront is the family’s hydroponic, vertical farming operation. Housed in their former milking building, the indoor garden, affectionally nicknamed the I-Farm, grows salad vegetables and herbs in a closed loop environment.

The year-round, hydroponic vegetables make up the popular Lorhill Greens Boxes. The fresh vegetable boxes can be purchased online and are delivered to customers’ doors to reduce the long distant transportation impact. In the summer, market garden vegetables are added to the selection for the “choose what you want” boxes which, like all their packaging is compostable or recyclable. The outdoor vegetables are pesticide free as beneficial insects are employed to ward off unwanted pests. Lorhill herbs will be available at the New Hamburg Sobeys in the near future.

Read more at The Record (Lisa Hagen)

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