CAN: Vegetate Market Garden grows lettuce in passive solar greenhouse

Owners of Vegetate Market Garden Justin Friedel and Caitlin Peuramaki-Brown’s journey to entrepreneurship started more than a decade ago, when they lived in the city and had a backyard garden, growing salad greens. “We were playing around with passive solar greenhouses,” Friedel says.

A passive solar greenhouse captures and stores solar energy to keep the greenhouse from freezing in the winter, even without additional sources of heat. One day in February, the two came home and harvested a salad from their greenhouse - a truly unique experience in Thunder Bay. That made them all the more passionate about their hobby, and they turned it into a business, Queen Street Market Garden.

As demand for their produce outgrew their backyard, the two moved to Kaministiquia. They renamed their business Vegetate Market Garden and they grow food both in greenhouses and in the field. Vegetate is best known for their microgreens, grown in trays with potting soil and worm castings.

When the pandemic hit, Vegetate transitioned into doing home deliveries, which proved very popular with customers. “Half the stuff we sell are to the same groups of people that buy all the time,” Friedel says.

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