Vertical farming could help the economy grow in the Peterborough region — but there are some barriers, experts say. Vertical farming, as the name suggests, is the growing of crops in vertical rows. The key difference between traditional farming is vertical farms are in climate-controlled facilities without the use of soil or sunshine. Food can be grown over a shorter time period, regardless of the weather.
According to the Peterborough and Kawarthas Economic Development, a number of vertical farming companies have expressed interest in joining the region’s agricultural scene. President and CEO Rhonda Keenan says several European producers are eyeing the region for expansion.
“I haven’t been able to quantify the economic impact, but I know the social impact of having more food grown locally is always a good thing,” she said. Among local producers already venturing into vertical farms is Chemong City Greens in Peterborough. Owner Matt Anderson has been selling micro greens from his basement vertical farm for nearly two years.
“You’re able to produce that food locally,” he said. “So you’re removing any sort of reliance on shipping long distances or any sort of supply chain issues that may come with that.”
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