Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers Working with Highline Mushrooms to Create a Regional Circular Bioeconomy

Leamington, ON – The Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG) would like to announce a strategic alliance with Highline Mushrooms that will assist the mushroom growers in obtaining raw materials comparable to fertilizer and chicken manure. The ongoing collaboration will see thousands of tonnes of organic waste, specifically in the form of unmarketable tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers, as well as plant trimmings, diverted from local landfills. As the cost of chicken manure and fertilizer, and access to procuring these growing substrates continues to become more competitive, OGVG is pleased to announce Highline Mushroom as a key organic waste off-loader.

“Over the past decade we have seen unprecedented volumes of organic waste reaching landfills, pushing them closer to their Environmental Compliance Agreement (ECA) thresholds at a quicker-than-anticipated rate,” remarked Joseph Sbrocchi, General Manager of the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers. “Our vision and core values for the province’s greenhouse vegetable sector is to be global leaders, identifying and developing best practices that continue our improvement in sustainability and being best in class”.

Currently, there are 2 farms online with this project, with an appetite to increase participation. Lucas Semple, General Manager of Under Sun Acres commented “The reduction in tipping fees and trips to the landfill has provided more on-farm flexibility from a budgetary standpoint, while creating a localized, circular bioeconomy that gives a second life to what was otherwise a waste product.” From the perspective of Joe Cartier, Director, Compost Operation & Mechanical of Highline Mushrooms, “This is a winning situation for each party involved. Utilizing historically landfill-destined materials to offset increasing fertilizer costs and decreasing accessibility to manures, we have been able to protect our bottom line without sacrificing the quality of our product which consumers have come to expect.”