GUELPH, ON - GoodLeaf Farms expects to break ground on a new indoor vertical farm in the Montreal area by autumn.
It will be the first expansion for the company since establishing its commercial-scale farm in Guelph, Ont., in 2019. GoodLeaf produce like pea shoots, micro radish, micro arugula, micro Asian blend, spicy mustard medley, baby kale and baby arugula grown at the Quebec farm are expected to be in grocery stores across Quebec and in Atlantic Canada by fall 2022.
"It is GoodLeaf's intention to build a stable of indoor vertical farms that support the Canadian grocery network, food service industry and consumers — starting with an expansion into Quebec," says Barry Murchie, Chief Executive Officer of GoodLeaf. "We are committed to growing in the Province of Quebec and are encouraged by the support and collaboration we have been getting from stakeholders and all levels of government. We are looking forward to finalizing all of the details."
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 with traditional ebb-and-flow watering 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 clinical, there are no pests, bugs or birds — and thus no pesticides, herbicides or fungicides are used. It is also environmentally sustainable, using 95 per cent less water than a traditional outdoor farm would.
Vertical farming is a potential game changer for Canadian agriculture, providing fresh produce year-round, displacing leafy greens that are typically grown in the Southwestern United States and trucked to Canada.
"We want to be a global leader in vertical farming," says Mr. Murchie. "But our first step is growing across Canada and establishing GoodLeaf as Canada's leader in vertical farming. That starts with our expansion into Quebec."
GoodLeaf also has plans to open a farm in Western Canada. More details on that announcement will be available soon. GoodLeaf's microgreens and baby greens can currently be found at Loblaws, Fortinos, Zehrs, Your Independent Grocer, Longo's and Whole Foods stores across Ontario, and will be coming soon to MetroSource : Cision