An ambitious project is taking shape in the municipality of Franklin.
Perspective InZebra Inc., a team of three dedicated people including Eliane Wiler, Stefan Donaldson, and Charles Généreux, is quietly working to establish Les Fermes Vega on two hectares of land.
Following long-term reflection and combined experiences, the three are throwing all their energy and capital into the business. Donaldson, whose background is in architectural design, has experience designing eco-friendly buildings in the tourism and hotel industry. His involvement in this sector allowed him to learn about energy, self-sufficiency, and food while working closely with hydroponic and aquaponic farms.
“It is the combination of our entrepreneurial experience, our skill sets, and long-term reflection on our values that has led to our setting up this project,” says Donaldson. The trio was already thinking about setting up an initial project revolving around a honey farm when the pandemic spurred them to grow their idea into a full-fledged agriculture venture.
“Initially, we will devote ourselves to the production of about fifty varieties of vegetables which will be distributed to a select group of 50 customers, before launching in 2023 with the goal of feeding 500 customers per week [through the sale of vegetable baskets],” he explains. The plants will be grown within a heated greenhouse to be as free as possible from environmental pressures, including weather.
Within a few months a wooden frame for a greenhouse was erected; and an artificial lake was dug, around which flora and fauna have developed. A field of sunflowers was also planted. The idea is to “make room for a more natural ecosystem,” says Donaldson.
Perspective InZebra Inc. envisions the creation of multiple businesses on its site, all dedicated to specific activities including beekeeping, hydroponic seedling production, aquaponics, a kitchen for processing its products, and a delivery service powered by electric vehicles.
While still in the early stages of development, it is clear that something to watch for is taking shape in Franklin.