The name is Rafferty. James Rafferty.
Rafferty Farms, started by James Rafferty in 2015, is a vertical aquaponics farm near Okotoks, AB. For those new to aquaponics, it is a soilless, closed-loop system that saves fresh water, incorporates sustainable technology, and does not expose your food to synthetic fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides. This means better tasting, healthier, and safer food!
You Know That We're All About That Basil, About That Basil.
Rafferty Farms is now growing Mint, Thai Basil and their famous Heirloom Genovese Basil year-round in their super energy-efficient new greenhouse. Using a combination of insulation, geothermal, water capture and ultra high-efficiency furnaces their system allows them to grow year-round in the most sustainable way in our climate.
Vertical Growing on a Koi Pond…. Seriously, on a Koi Pond.
Growing vertically in long rows allows Rafferty to maximize their growing space, but it also allows them to be innovative with how they incorporate sustainable energy use, water capture and conservation.
But what about the Koi Pond?
Aquaponics is a soilless, closed-loop system, and what makes Rafferty's system so unique is that their growing concept utilizes important microorganisms to convert waste from the fish (the Koi!) into vital nutrients for their plants, which detoxify the water before it returns to the fish. So instead of traditional manure to fertilize soil and grow delicious food, they fertilize the water that breathes life into Rafferty's magnificent greens.
A Greenhouse… in Alberta?
Rafferty Farms is a small, but growing, company with important goals. If humanity is going to feed itself adequately in the future, traditional farming is going to need a helping hand. That’s why they are working hard to create commercially viable aquaponics greenhouses, because they believe that is the way of the near future.
Rafferty is also constantly improving their system design, which is capable of producing fresh produce year-round in the cold northern climate. With their proof of concept in operation since 2015, and a 7,000 square foot expansion completed in 2019, Rafferty is on track to increasing their production capacity by nearly tenfold.
Sustainability is also important in how they design their systems and what technologies they incorporate. At Rafferty Farms, they use solar panels and wind turbines to harness the power of the sun and wind to offset electricity costs. This energy is then stored in batteries, which allows them to supplement their energy needs. Rafferty also incorporates rainwater capture systems to reduce freshwater usage, and geothermal systems to reduce heating and cooling costs.
And That Pride Delivers!
James and the entire team at Rafferty Farms are already well known to many of you who often shop at their organic and farmers' markets, and the CultivatR family is thrilled to be able to bring their delicious herbs into your kitchen.