Stewart Farms uses eco-friendly aquaponics to grow cannabis and fish

Published Feb 15, 2021 12:00 p.m. ET
iStock / neenawat

Stewart Farms has turned its 100,000 square feet cannabis production facility into a one of a kind agricultural site by combining fish farming with cannabis cultivation using aquaponics. The St. Stephen farm is an agriculture technology company that turned to selling cannabinoid-filled bath bombs to fund its unique technology endeavours, and it looks like some of that hard work is paying off.

What is aquaponics?

Aquaponics is an agricultural technique that combines both indoor hydroponic farming and land-based fish farming in a reduced waste circuit.

Aquaponics on Stewart Farms

Tilapia is the type of fish that Stewart Farms is raising to someday sell in the New York and Boston markets. A steady waste stream that runs from the fish farm feeds the entire indoor cannabis farm, which is vertically cultivated to save on space. This way, there is no need for additional fertilizers, as most of the manure will work to do the same job, and it will reliably do it at a reduced cost.

All excess waste that may be generated by the fish is pumped outside, away from freshwater sources to outdoor cannabis crops, and soon Steward Farms hopes to be producing high-quality soil amendment from the indoor farm, which can be sold on the market. The whole system is perfectly designed and placed keeping the environment in mind, and it’s an idea that some experts say will soon be catching on.

The company’s main focus is getting involved with soil regeneration while maintaining operations that produce as little waste as possible, two honorable feats that are garnering national attention despite its small size. The hope is to grow in the future, but right now, Stewart Farms is closer to the size of an average micro-producer than it is to a full-scale operation.

Stewart Farms received its cultivation license back in April of 2020, and it’s taken a while to get everything up and running, but now the company is ready to start shipping its very first batch of fresh cannabis flower, which is expected to be sold on Shelter Market, a popular cannabis platform. By the end of this year, Stewart expects to break into the New Brunswick market as well, and all of that by the end of this year, but for now, production is limited by the size of the farm.

Stewart Farms bath bombs

Building and designing fantastic technology like what can be found at Stewart Farms is an expensive challenge, which is why the company is selling THC and CBD infused bath bombs through select cannabis dispensary retailers. So far, they’ve been quite popular selling out, with glowing customer reviews on both the product quality and the 100% biodegradable packaging, which is a great choice for the environment.

Stewart Farms might not be the norm, as the company is shattering expectations right across the industry, but it is an excellent example of what we have to look forward to in the future of cannabis farming. Today it’s a greenhouse, but tomorrow, your average cannabis producer may become more reliant on the hydroponic garden, which is far more compatible with automatic waste feeding systems like the one that can only be found in St. Stephen Alberta.

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