November 30, 2022 By Fruit & Vegetable
GoodLeaf Farms, a Canadian vertical farming company specializing in microgreens and baby greens, is on track to open a climate-controlled indoor farm in the Montreal suburb of Longueuil by the middle of 2023.
The 100,000-square-foot vertical farm will produce 1.9 million pounds of microgreens and baby greens for grocery stores and the hospitality sector across Quebec, with capacity to also service Atlantic Canada. The new farm has been supported by a $7-million loan from the Government of Québec and several smaller grants from various economic development agencies, including Développement économique de l’agglomération de Longueuil (DEL).
The project is expected to create more than 70 new jobs — many of them cutting-edge technology and skilled positions — with additional economic spinoffs in Longueuil, as GoodLeaf will use local vendors for many of the components that are being used in the build and operation of the farm.
With Quebec’s limited growing season, most open-field farms can harvest one crop a year; GoodLeaf’s climate-controlled indoor farms are able to grow and harvest more than 40 crops of a microgreen each year, and more than 20 crops of a baby green.
The farm also provides a local food source for a product that is typically imported — as much as 90 per cent of the leafy greens on store shelves in Quebec are trucked in from the southwestern United States. Growing these greens locally and reducing the number of trucks on the road reduces carbon emissions significantly.
GoodLeaf’s system is also free of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, has no risk of fertilizer run-off into local water sources, and uses 95 per cent less water than the same crops in an open-field farm. The cutting-edge technology used in vertical farming results in a sustainable solution for farmers, retailers, the food service sector and consumers.
GoodLeaf’s farms supports a reliable and consistent source of microgreens and baby greens in Canada year-round, no matter the season, climate, or weather. The plants are grown in a complex hydroponics system to feed nutrient-rich water to the plants, and specialized LED lights that are engineered to mimic the spring sun — ideal conditions for plants to maximize photosynthesis — feeding growth, nutrition and flavour.
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