Marc Rodrique and Alex Cochrane are farmers are busy growing fresh produce  in Timmins.

“ We can actually grow these foods right here in our backyard. and if you look today, it's cold, it's snowy, I've got a tear in my eye (laughs) but inside of our modular farm we're actually growing these foods”, said Rodrigue  co-founder of Borealis Fresh Farms.

“ It's a new and innovative way of bringing produce to the north, 365 days a year. so we can finally start to take back our food chain, make sure that the dollars that are spent here on our food, on our economy stay here”, said Cochrane,  co-founder of Borealis Fresh Farms.

With food security and sustainability becoming more top-of-mind for consumers, the "farm-to-table" movement has exploded across North America. now, using advances in technology in a "modular, vertical, hydroponic farm" just steps from porcupine lake, borealis fresh farms is bringing that movement to a climate where it was once thought impossible to grow fresh, local produce for the better part of the year.   

“ I think that's definitely a growing trend, local produce, right? everybody wants their stuff to be grown as close as possible. i don't think we really want to be buying stuff from Texas, but we have to because that's the only place where it's warm enough to grow in the winter”.

I am plant-based and one of the things that really irritated me was actually buying some fresh produce, or i thought fresh produce at the time and getting home and then a day later having to throw out sometimes half of it because it was either spoiling or whatever it was”, said Rodrique.

The farm itself is a ten by 11 by 40 foot unit. the vegetables are grown on vertical towers using nutrient-rich water. there are no herbicides or pesticides, everything is recycled throughout the system and everything from the lights, to the temperature and the humidity is controlled by cutting-edge technology.

Along with a reduced carbon footprint compared to traditional farms and the ability to grow in weather like this... the proximity to retailers in Timmins gives Borealis another leg-up.

“One of the biggest advantages, to be honest, is just the nutrient density of the plants. when we cut a piece of kale, we harvest a piece of kale, you can have it on your plate that night for supper... we're really passionate about bringing fresh foods to the local community”, said Rodrique

The owners say they've seen sales explode since the farm started in January. and later this month another Canadian-made unit will sit right beside this one to scale up production in a big way.