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UK: Busby-area lettuce farm thriving post-pandemic

Just over four years ago, Alyssa Pfaeffli and her husband, David, realized a dream of providing locally-grown produce to families, retailers, and restaurants across the region.

Swiss Leaf Farms was established in December 2018 as a production facility for lettuce and microgreen sales. The local hydroponics farm just west of the Hamlet of Busby has been growing fresh produce in 14 stainless-steel growing modules that are each 40 feet long, eight-feet wide, and about nine feet high, after partnering with Cubic Farms, who manufacture the equipment and modules in Langley, B.C.

Today, the local business is not only thriving but is sharing their knowledge and expertise with the community and future generations, which has included working with area schools to provide seedlings for a tower garden, tours of the farm, as well as volunteering with the Westlock Community Garden to grow and harvest lettuce and donate it to the Westlock and District Food Bank and various community events.    

"We offered (tours) to local schools when we started in 2019. We think it's so important that they understand how food can be grown," said Alyssa Pfaeffli, noting students from Busby, Dunstable, and Westlock have been out to the facility. "If they can see that maybe there's a different way to farm for their future to continue their family's generational farming legacy, providing food for their community. They can see the technology side of it and become interested in that for the future because it's going to be so needed." Swiss Leaf Farms was the "first commercial cubic farm" that Cubic Farms ever sold, and over the past several years have become experts in the growing module industry.


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