Vegetate Market Garden grows lettuce in a passive solar greenhouse

Vegetate Market Garden owners Justin Friedel and Caitlin Peuramaki-Brown began their journey into entrepreneurship over a decade ago when they lived in town and had a back garden, growing salad greens . “We were playing around with passive solar greenhouses,” says Friedel.

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

As demand for their products 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 fields. Vegetate is best known for its microgreens, grown in trays with potting soil and worm castings.

When the pandemic hit, Vegetate switched to home deliveries, which proved to be very popular with customers. “Half of the products we sell go to the same groups of people who shop all the time,” Friedel says.

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Terri S. Tomasini