The GoodLeaf Farms' 4,000-square-metre indoor vertical farm is now fully operational. The state-of-the-art farm is fully automated and equipped to grow microgreens and baby greens 365 days a year, without the use of pesticides, herbicides or fungicides and with dramatically less water consumption. The result is a safer, more nutrient-dense and sustainably grown food source, providing a domestic alternative in a produce aisle highly dominated by imports from the southern United States or Mexico.
"Knowing where their food comes from is important to Canadians," says Jacquie Needham, Accounts Manager for GoodLeaf Farms. "Our growing system mimics the spring sun without the use of chemicals, releasing farming from the restrictions of the changing seasons. We can grow local, fresh, nutritious and healthy leafy greens for the Ontario produce market all year long — we do it safely."
Vertical farming is an innovative growing process that naturally grows plants with hydroponics under specialized LEDs that concentrates the waves from the light spectrum that plants need to maximize photosynthesis. This method of farming is cost-effective, uniquely suited for Canadian climate and scalable. GoodLeaf Farms is a leader in food safety. Every crop is tested for contaminants before it is shipped, ensuring it is safe for consumers.
GoodLeaf Farms is also sustainable. It uses 95 per cent less water than a traditional farm, has no run-off issues or potential contamination of nearby water sources, it is local which eliminates thousands of kilometers of transportation from the supply chain and more food can be grown per acre, reducing land-use pressures.
GoodLeaf currently has four microgreens and two baby greens available in Ontario:
- Spicy Mustard Medley — Blend of Asian greens create a spicy touch reminiscent of Wasabi or Dijon Mustard. It makes for a perfect peppery finish.
- Pea Shoots — Sweet and crisp with a subtle pea flavour, they add a fresh bite to salads, seafood and summer rolls.
- Micro Asian Blend — Mild peppery flavour with a hint of mustard, this makes a great addition to stir fry, soups or as a crunchy culinary adventure to any dish.
- Micro Arugula — Intense spicy flavour that is both peppery and nutty. Use this to elevate the look and flavour of any meat or seafood dish, as an addition to your salad or to garnish your sandwich.
- Baby Kale — Earthy and nutty, it is a calcium-rich dark green to add a nutritional punch to any salad.
- Baby Arugula — Excite your taste buds by adding this spicy and peppery green to your salad or as a topping for sandwiches or burgers.
"The pandemic has underscored how important it is to have access to local food sources – food that we know is safe, grown responsibly and immune to border closures," says Ms. Needham. "Compared to a green that was grown thousands of miles away, packed onto a hot truck and shipped across the continent, our process is far superior. Local food is simply better — better for you, better for the environment and better for our economy."
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