West Grow Farms Inc., located in Edmonton, is one of those farms. As an indoor vertical farm, it grows several varieties of lettuce year-round in a controlled environment. Its products can be found in Safeway and Sobeys stores in Edmonton, Spruce Grove, Stony Plain and St. Albert as well as at Amaranth Foods in St. Albert.
The benefits of vertical farming are many, explained West Grow Farm’s Ann Philpott. Philpott, managing partner of West Grow, was one of the recipients of AFSC’s 2023 Women in Ag award for her support of women in agriculture.
“(Vertical farming) significantly reduces the amount of land space and water used compared to traditional farming methods,” said Philpott. “As we are not subjected to normal environmental variations, we can grow all year round. It also eliminates the need for chemicals and pesticides.”
Additionally, West Grow Farms uses a closed-loop growing system where they reuse any water not immediately needed by the plants. According to their website, WestGrowFarms.com, this means they use approximately 95 per cent less water than a conventional farm, with a 142 gram produce package using only 1.46 litres of water from seed to harvest.
Read more at afsc.ca