An Edmonton business owner is hoping to take urban farming to new heights.
Jason Courtepatte is introducing high-tech cargo containers capable of producing more than 100 pounds of food a week.
He first came across these agricultural systems while on a trip to the Yukon.
“We were having casual conversations about these grow systems they had in their back shop. I thought they were super cool, they got lights, they got electrical,” said Jason Courtepatte, owner of Kite Electric.
With Courtepatte’s electrical company struggling due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, he saw this as an opportunity to keep his business afloat while also bringing this unique technology to communities in the capital region and beyond.
Through partnerships with companies in Whitehorse, he then launched an extension of his business called Kite Ag systems.
“We’re looking to provide alternatives that are local, close to the city and provide folks the opportunity to be able to harvest their own food and crop right outside their door,” Courtepatte said.
The c-cans are insulated and temperature regulated. Produce is grown without soil, instead using fertilization and watering technology. They can be placed anywhere with adequate space and can be powered by any common electrical service or solar power. They are all factors that have piqued the interest of the Somali Canadian Cultural Society of Edmonton.
“Food security is something that we’ve been talking about, so producing those locally is a benefit to the communities,” said Jibril Ibrahim, president of the Somali Canadian Cultural Society of Edmonton.
The society plans to acquire two c-cans in the coming months.
“There is a need, (produce) is very expensive, it’s not easy to get fresh produce especially if you are coming from the lower social economics,” Ibrahim said.
The society’s president says this growing system will bring educational opportunities while providing food to the community.
The first c-cans to land in Edmonton is currently in production. It takes roughly 20 hours a week to maintain one unit.