There is a growing (literally) entrepreneurial, enterprising, innovative farm right on the outskirts of Cochrane. Good Life Farms Inc. operates a vertical-wall hydroponic garden inside two shipping containers that are partially solar-powered. It has been operating for just over a year after researching the project for about ten years.  

Chad Randal founder of Good Life Farms Inc. grew up on a farm near Marwayne Alberta and has called Cochrane home for about 24 years. He has combined his background in sustainable resource management and farming, and it is producing some very fresh delicious results.  

Randal says after attending Expo 2020 in the Middle East, “We had the opportunity to visit about 180 countries or pavilions at the Global Expo, and the whole mantra across pretty much every nation is that we have to come up with strategies for sustainable food supply.” Further research led to the discovery of the venture that provided the opportunity to be a local farmer in a business for oneself on a smaller scale and impact a community. The sea-can concept caters to the smaller rural and remote communities and what it means for Cochrane in particular is hyper-local freshness.  

Randal says, “Both farms fired up in December of last year and we started to pull our first crops off of there and a lot of it was experimental. We were trying root vegetables, different types of lettuces and so forth.” During the first quarter of this year, they have been working on making their produce such as arugula to graziano leaf lettuce, and KC butterhead lettuce available at grocers in Cochrane and they are building a relationship with local restaurants and chefs. They will also provide private facility tours where people can pick their own produce and harvest it.  

With his farming background and coming from a history of farmers, Randal thinks about what his grandparents would have thought of the Goodlife Farms facility with its small environmental footprint, incredibly efficient water and energy, and heat reuse. For them to see how the operation can grow every waking minute, growing perfect food under the perfect conditions with no herbicides, pesticides or fungicides, or bugs. It is safe to say Randal’s ancestors would be impressed and proud.  

The best part is, it is right in our backyard and Cochranites will be able to reap the rewards of fresh produce from Good Life Farms. Randal says, “We love to grow more than we are selling so with the extra that we are growing so we are donating that to local charities, and I love it, it is probably one of the most heartwarming things that we could do.” Benefactors include Helping Hands, the Cochrane Food Bank, and Big Hill Haven. 

Good Life Farms growing facilities