An indoor farm will soon be growing fresh produce in Charlotte County, with the capacity to produce up to 8,000 pounds of food.

Eastern Charlotte Waterways, an environmental nonprofit based in Blacks Harbour, recently announced it received up to $126,996 in federal funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for its Indoor Farm and Living Lab project, the food security arm of the three-pronged Project:Village.

The federal funds will go toward electrical and plumbing upgrades for the indoor farm, which was once the community’s only grocery store but has sat empty for years.

Brian Goggin will be overseeing the technical aspects of the indoor farm. He recently graduated from UNB Saint John’s Dr. Thierry Chopin’s Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture Laboratory, where he studied crop selection in hydroponic and aquaponic farms.

He says he’s most excited to see the former grocery store turn into an asset that serves the community. “We’re using a former grocery store, an existing piece of infrastructure, and refurbishing it into a community asset that will apply innovative farming techniques,” he said.

He added it could inspire other people or community groups to think about retrofitting existing buildings to serve their communities, too.

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