February 2020 - 28

ECO FRIENDLY
OFF THE
Grid
Country Mile Gardens recently installed a solar
array to cover 100% of its energy use.
By Teresa McPherson
C
ountry Mile Gardens, a family-owned and operated
garden center in Harding, New Jersey, has installed a
35kW solar system to cover 100% of its energy use.
The solar array, situated on 2,000 square feet of the
3-acre property, will produce an estimated 39.4 megawatt
hours per year. Over the next 30 years, it will offset the
equivalent CO2
from burning 900 tons of coal.
A Green Mindset
Brothers Thomas and Dan Gallo recently purchased
Country Mile Gardens from their father, Tom Gallo, who
started the business in 1977. The installation is the most
recent move in their effort to reduce the environmental
impact of their business. Other improvements include
selling more organic and native plant materials, recycling
28 | LAWN & GARDEN RETAILER | FEBRUARY 2020
more packaging and sourcing from more local growers.
" Dan and I, with backgrounds in environmental science
and biology, are both very aware of the benefits of
renewable energy and how climate change can impact our
local environment, as well as our business, " says Thomas
Gallo, co-owner.
" Having put solar panels on my house already, we
knew a bit about what the options were and what we
could do, " Gallo says. " So we reached out to several solar
companies in the area to show them the area where
we wanted to put a carport like structure and let them
show us what it would look like, along with price quotes.
We ended up using a local company out of Madison,
New Jersey, that a friend put us in touch with called
Greenhouse Solar. "
The 80-panel system was designed and installed by

February 2020

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