The idea to build a greenhouse on the outskirts of Chatham that would connect to GreenField Ethanol and utilize their waste heat and carbon dioxide began nearly two years ago. A great deal of work and progress unfolded in early 2012 with the public consultation meetings and engagement of the Municipality of Chatham-Kent to align the ideals and goals of the Municipality with that of a family run business owned and operated by the Devries family. The process presented many challenges and obstacles, but at the end of the day revealed immense opportunity to the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, Cedarline Greenhouses, GreenField Ethanol and the Province of Ontario. Today Cedarline Greenhouses is grateful and deeply indebted to all those individuals who have helped to make this project a reality. We could not have done this alone!
The new greenhouse project began under a new company name in October 2012; Truly Green. The name was chosen to depict the environmentally friendly or carbon neutral way that the tomatoes will be grown in the greenhouse facility. Once the greenhouse is complete, tomatoes will be grown in the first 22.5 acres of the project. Over the next 10 years, 3 separate phases of expansion will be incorporated; bringing 90 acres into production. The tomatoes will be sold to Mastronardi produce in Leamington. The reason why tomatoes were chosen as the greenhouse crop of choice is simply that ‘tomatoes’ respond best to massive amounts of carbon dioxide and it is hoped that the greenhouse will realize a significant yield increase through using GreenField Ethanol’s C02.
It is interesting to note the greenhouse will be one of the first of its kind in North America to utilize waste heat in production as well. For this reason the greenhouse has received a non-repayable contribution from the province of Ontario for nearly 3.2 million dollars. This will help to off-set offset the project costs as they relate to the innovation. In return many Ontarians will benefit from this innovation from the food they eat, the air they breathe and the jobs created through this greenhouse project. It has been well received by local and provincial politicians alike for the resounding impact it will bring in delivering food, locally to Ontario. We look forward to the support we have received to date and the relationships we have yet to build.