Meet the farmer who wants to turn northern agriculture on its head

Stephane Lanteigne's new farm in the Sudbury area plans to operate for the whole year no matter the temperature outside.

Stephane Lanteigne's modular farm can operate 365 days a year, produce 150 lbs of kale every week

Stephane Lanteigne can grow around 150 lbs of kale in his modular farm, which operates 365 days a year. (Jason Turnbull CBC)

With the cold winters and short summers, farming in Northern Ontario can be a challenge.

The growing season may only last about 100 days.

But Stephane Lanteigne plans to operate his new farm in the Sudbury area for the whole year— no matter the temperature outside.

The entire operation for Smart Greens Sudbury takes place in a building about the size of a modular home.

The operation, Lanteigne said, is both productive and sustainable.

"Because [Smart Farms] are so fine-tuned they have a production of more than 30 times a traditional farm," Lanteigne said.

"We also only use about 30 litres of water daily, compared to the thousands of litres on a traditional farm."

Big impact on northern Ontario agriculture

There's no dirt or pesticides inside the farm, but there's plenty of kale and basil growing all along the walls of the container.

There aren't any windows, but there's a huge set of purple fluorescent lights that provide light to the plants so they can grow.

The operation could have a big impact on Northern Ontario's agriculture industry, as this modular farm will operate 365 days a year, no matter how cold or hot the weather may be outside.

Lanteigne also points to the amount of food grown locally as a reason his farm has a leg up. According to Lanteigne, Sudbury only produces 4-6 per cent of its food locally.

"We'd like to take it up to six or eight per cent," Lanteigne said.

"I think it's a game changer. We're convinced this has to be the future."

Listen to the interview with Stephane Lanteigne here

Smart Greens Sudbury is a modular farm in Chelmsford. It's about the size of a tractor trailer and can produce more than 150 pounds of kale every week. And it could be a game changer for growing food in northern Ontario. 9:08