Vision Greens, a vertical farm in Welland, Ont., believes it has a solution to the high cost of green vegetables in winter-bound Canada – grow up.
At a time when agricultural property prices have risen more than 20 percent since 2022, and Ontario alone is reported to be losing some 319 acres of farmland every day to development and sprawl, vertical farms don’t need much land or water, using low-energy, artificially lit warehouses to produce non-pesticide leafy green vegetables.
“Our current 4,000-square-feet growing footprint produces an amount of food equal to what you could grow on 12 and a half acres,” says Lenny Louis, chief executive officer of Vision Greens. “We built one vertical farm module to see if we could get price parity with produce trucked in from California, and we feel we’re there. So now we’re in the market trying to raise funds to expand to four times our current size,” he says.
The company raised $7-million to start its farm in 2022 and is now looking for about $25-million more, which will likely require sharing some equity in the company, Mr. Louis says. Vision Greens is one of several vertical operators across Canada that believe the sector is ready to take more farming inside.
“We have been building one of the largest vertical farm operations in the world, quietly, right here in Canada,” says Barry Murchie, president and CEO of GoodLeaf Farms, based in Guelph, Ont.
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