Moonshot Farm in East Windsor, NJ announced today today that the USDA has awarded them a Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant to convert a greenhouse to geothermal heat for cut flower production. The project will enable the farm to grow cut flowers in winter using geothermal energy instead of fossil fuels. It will be the first commercial geothermal greenhouse in NJ dedicated to cut flower production.
Moonshot Farm was started in 2019 by Rebecca Kutzer-Rice and Mark Ginsberg in East Windsor, NJ. The couple farms approximately 3 acres of specialty cut flowers year-round, selling in farmers markets, at their farm stand, and to a 120-member bouquet-of-the-month club. Their farm uses sustainable methods including reduced tillage and avoidance of synthetic pesticides/herbicides. Previously the farm grew winter flowers using propane. The geothermal project will save over 2,000 gallons in estimated propane usage per year. Specialty flowers grown using geothermal heat will include ranunculus, anemones, freesia, and tulips. In 2023, the farm’s flower subscription will run year-round and include geothermal-grown flowers.
The USDA Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems Grant provides funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses. Moonshot Farm has been awarded $24,193.00 in grant funding, which covers 25% of the geothermal greenhouse conversion. Thomas Geothermal Engineering LLC is the engineer for the project.
The farm’s geothermal project is also benefited by the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act, which expands tax credits for commercial geothermal energy projects.
“Nearly all flowers sold in New Jersey between November and March are imported from abroad or grown using fossil fuels,” said Rebecca Kutzer-Rice of Moonshot Farm. “We are thrilled that the USDA has provided funding for this innovative project and hope to see more local growers exploring renewable energy on their farms.”