January 12, 2022 By Fruit & Vegetable
GoodLeaf Farms, Canada’s largest commercial vertical farming company, has targeted Calgary for its next expansion project: a 74,000-square-foot indoor vertical farm. The new farm will create about 70 skilled and unskilled job opportunities in the city and will serve as a focal point for partnerships with post-secondary schools in Canada’s west.
The design will be expandable, allowing for a possible future expansion to double its size and create more local jobs. Construction is currently underway with an expected completion date by the end of 2022. The Calgary farm will produce more than one million pounds of fresh, local leafy greens each year, which will be on the shelves of grocery stores across Western Canada by early 2023.
“Setting up in Calgary is a huge step forward for GoodLeaf to establish a truly national footprint as Canada’s largest commercial indoor vertical farm,” says Barry Murchie, GoodLeaf CEO. “With Canada’s limited growing season, climate-controlled indoor farms offer Canadians access to fresh, locally grown leafy greens year-round. And Calgary is the perfect location for our first Western Canada location as it’s a main corridor and central access point.”
The Alberta farm is being assisted with $2.73 million from the Alberta Government’s Investment and Growth Fund, and is the first project to receive funding from that program.
GoodLeaf’s Calgary farm will be the company’s second Canadian location. The first GoodLeaf commercial-scale farm was established in Guelph, Ont., in 2019, with plans to expand into Quebec in 2022.
GoodLeaf Farms grows micro radish, micro arugula, micro broccoli, micro Asian blend, pea shoots, spicy mustard medley, baby spinach, baby arugula, baby kale and spring mix.
GoodLeaf’s indoor vertical farms use innovative technology to grow microgreens and baby greens in Canada year-round, no matter the season, climate or weather. The plants are grown in a complex hydroponic system with traditional ebb-and-flood irrigation to feed nutrient-rich water to the plants, and specialized LED lights that are engineered to emulate the red and blue wavelengths of the light spectrum to mimic the spring sun — ideal conditions for plants to maximize photosynthesis.
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