The Pfisterer Farm: 4 Season Passive Solar Greenhouse

David Messer Guelph Smart City Office • 16 November 2020
Creation of a 4 Season Passive Solar Greenhouse on The Pfisterer Farm in Kenilworth, North Wellington.

Project Idea

We are designing and building a self-sustainable passive solar 4 season greenhouse capable of growing local produce year round with minimal inputs and environmental impact. Over 2000 sq ft of growing space estimates production of 800 heads of leafy greens weekly, 900lbs of tomatoes and 600 microgreen flats grown hydroponically per year. But by using vertical aeroponic technology we can grow 408 plants in only 48 sq ft and hope to increase those estimates.

We believe resilient communities share knowledge to build strong regional food security. In addition to providing Wellington County with fresh year round produce, we will share detailed instructions for build replication by anyone, anywhere. Partnering with St. James Meals To Go program will be donating all proceeds from instruction sales and committing to 10% of our weekly harvest in food donation. The greenhouse will also be used as a learning space for local food, healthy eating, and agricultural community engagement.



The greenhouse will be located at The Pfisterer Farm in Kenilworth, Wellington North Township. 


The Pfisterer Farm ( is a 100 acre mixed farm owned and operated by first generation farmers Jessica and Ryan Pfisterer.  Proudly providing sustainably raised pasture meats including chicken, beef, pork, and turkey, free range eggs, and seasonal produce for Wellington County. We are committed to farming without compromising our precious resources so future generations can continue to do the same. Building and managing healthy soil, protecting our water, minimizing pollution, and managing biodiversity are crucial to sustainable agriculture. We focus on using regenerative and sustainable agricultural practices in all activities on the farm. 


Community Impact

Today the average fruit and vegetable travels 2500km before reaching our plates even though greenhouses are booming in Canada, they produce a fraction of what Canadians consume as few vegetables can be grown on mass scale keeping costs low. Our design aims to minimize or eliminate those costs all together ensuring access to a variety of locally grown and nutritious food year round. Our partnership with Meals To Go will enable us to amplify our community impact helping them serve approximately 400 healthy meals weekly. We plan to use the space itself for community activities which is especially important for meal recipients as they are often isolated with limited social interaction. On a larger scale we want our design to be replicated both within the county and globally. We believe by supporting local farmers we can create a deep rooted food network and strengthen our economy making us more resilient in times of uncertainty.

The Pfisterer Farm Passive Solar Greenhouse