One hot summer day in 2017, Tony was out on the diesel tractor and thought, “Someone has probably made an electric tractor by now.” A few internet searches and emails later that night put him in touch with Steve Heckeroth of Solectrac in Mendocino, California.
The two met in November 2017 and by February 2018, Tony was in California to help to build an electric tractor to ship back to Wheelbarrow Farm for the 2018 growing season.
This was our first experiment with community bonds. In order to finance the project, we reached out to customers, friends and family to secure loans for the purchase of the tractor. Community investors received a 4% rate of return and got to invest in a green technology.
To finance the project we also received a grant from the Greenbelt Foundation.
To see the tractor in action this year, come visit us on one of our public farm tour days.
The tractor is charged using solar power, from the 10kW solar array installed in May 2018 with Haliburton Solar and Wind.
If you'd like to read more about our tractor, please visit our news section. The Toronto Star and many other media outlets have published wonderful interviews focused on our solar powered farm and electric tractor.