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Test crops planted at GoodLeaf’s new Montréal farm

Test crops planted at GoodLeaf’s new Montréal farm

The new vertical farm expects 40 harvests a year of microgreens and 20 harvests annually of baby greens.

By Andrew Joseph, Farms.com; Image via www.goodleaffarms.com

Slated to begin full production in Québec and Eastern Canada early in the new year, GoodLeaf Farms has planted the first test crops at its new facility in the Montréal area.

The mandate of the Guelph, Ontario-headquartered company is to produce local, fresh greens under its GoodLeaf brand without pesticides, which it does using innovative vertical farming technology. The company’s roots, however, are originally from Truro, Nova Scotia where it had its first test farm, whose success led the company to set up in Ontario.

Construction on the new 96,000-square-foot indoor vertical farm facility is all but complete, and crops of the microgreens and baby greens that will be grown and harvested in Montréal for retail stores and the food service sector in Québec and Eastern Canada have been planted to ensure all of the equipment and infrastructure are working as intended.

Once fully operational, GoodLeaf’s Montréal farm will produce more than two million pounds of fresh, local leafy greens each year, with an expected 40 annual harvests of microgreens and 20 annual harvests of baby greens.

“This is a significant milestone for GoodLeaf Farms as we build a truly national footprint of indoor vertical farms that provide fresh and local leafy greens that are typically imported to Canada,” explained Barry Murchie, President and Chief Executive Officer of GoodLeaf Farms. “As import replacement products, the foods we are providing are critical to our food security and sovereignty. We are excited to begin ramping up production in Montréal to serve markets in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces."

GoodLeaf Farms grows, under its brand, Micro Radish, Micro Arugula, Micro Broccoli, Micro Asian Blend, Pea Shoots, Spicy Mustard Medley, Baby Spinach, Baby Arugula, and Crisp Lettuce, as well as a variety of blends such as Sweet & Spicy Mix, Four Seasons Mix, and Crisp Spring Mix.

The Montréal farm is GoodLeaf’s third Canadian location after its flagship commercial-scale farm in Guelph and a facility in Calgary, Alberta, that began commercial production in autumn 2023.

GoodLeaf’s Montréal operation will create about 70 skilled and hourly job opportunities in the city and will serve as a focal point for partnerships with post-secondary schools in Canada’s east. The design will be expandable, allowing a future expansion to double its size and create more local jobs when needed.

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 hydroponics system 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.

Because the farm is indoors in an environment that is almost entirely controlled, there are no pests, bugs, or birds—and thus no pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides are used—and its crops are immune to severe weather events such as drought, heavy rain, frost, or blizzards. It is also environmentally sustainable, using 95 percent less water than a traditional outdoor farm.

GoodLeaf has ongoing R&D programs in collaboration with the University of Guelph, Dalhousie University, and Acadia University.

Learn more at www.goodleaffarms.com.


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