Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

You are using software which is blocking our advertisements (adblocker).

As we provide the news for free, we are relying on revenues from our banners. So please disable your adblocker and reload the page to continue using this site.

Click here for a guide on disabling your adblocker.

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

CAN (MB): 'Restaurants are excited to work with us as other lettuce was so expensive'

"Once lettuce hit prices of 9 CAD per head during Covid-19, I started to explore other options of growing our own produce at home. My husband Parry is a conventional farmer, so we know a thing or two about farming. Looking for methods to cultivate our own produce at home, shortly after, we came across the Harvest Today Vertigation™ System that perfectly matched our vision for growing food local, year-round," says Kim Moffatt, Founder of The Little Garden Next Door (LGND), a small indoor farm based in the heart of Minnedosa, Manitoba, just two hours west of Winnipeg, Canada.

Kim Moffatt pictured in her home farm (Photo credits: Steve Langston)

Kim's experience with permaculture came in quite handy as they set up their first Harvest Wall in their spare bedroom. Given the Walls are a plug-and-play concept, soon their first 720-plant wall was up and running in the spare room. Quickly, Kim expanded her mini farm and doubled her yield by adding another Harvest Wall.

On top of that, she also had a smaller, mobile unit she can wheel around. She has expansion plans to renovate the house next door into a 450 sq. ft. (ca. 137m2) indoor farm growing over 5000 plants. Kim propagates her seeds three weeks before planting them on the Harvest Walls. Simultaneously, Kim and Parry have become distributors of Harvest Today's grow walls across the Manitoba region.

A sneak peek of Kim's farm (Photo credits: Steve Langston)

"We have a dehumidifier and three fans, and a screen in the outside door," Kim explains. By running the dehumidifier at night and keeping the door open during the day, they maintain optimal humidity and temperature levels." Despite the limitations of the former bedroom, the variety of crops LGND has been growing is quite impressive. Besides lettuce and herbs, Kim and Parry cultivate houseplants, outdoor vines, medicinal plants, peppers, tiny tomatoes, green beans, strawberries, and snap peas. "I couldn't grow anything before, but now I'm a big believer that anyone can grow anything on these walls," Kim shares.

Kim controls most parameters via her phone (Photo credits: Steve Langston)

Lower pricing and consistent quality
Kim had been working with various restaurants in the village already through her embroidery business, which came in rather handy for their first produce sales. "They were excited and willing to work with us as other lettuce available was so expensive, and no guarantee of quality. We've had steady sales since April 30th, 2023 and are now supplying 3 restaurants," Kim explains. LGND also runs a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, delivering to local residents Tuesdays and offering pick-ups on Fridays. "We have a waiting list at the moment, however, people grab extra bags whenever they can," Kim says laughing.

(Photo credits: Steve Langston)

As Kim and Parry are believers of food accessibility for everyone, they like to keep their products fair priced. "I think it's a comparable size to what you're getting in the grocery store. We want to provide quality products that are affordable. It shouldn't be priced at a gourmet price to eat locally," she says. The farm offers 180 grams bags of mixed lettuce and greens for about 8 CND. Deploying a reusable bag system, customers can return their bags and pick up their new produce weekly.

The harvested produce (Photo credits: Steve Langston)

Community involvement and future plans
"The response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive. Anybody that sees the garden has the same response: 'That's awesome.' So we knew we were onto something," Kim says. Despite having no advertising, they have a growing waiting list and a steady stream of enthusiastic customers.

Looking ahead, Kim envisions expanding the model to other communities. "Every community needs a little garden," she asserts. They are already in talks with communities up north, where fresh produce is scarce and expensive. And have rented out their smaller wall to a sleep away camp for the summer months. Providing campers with a new program in indoor growing and supplementing fresh greens in their diet while at camp.

Branded lettuce before it's picked up by customers (Photo credits: Steve Langston)

Government support could play a crucial role in this expansion, Kim explains. "I am really hoping that we can help others get government support and funding too. We've proved over the last year that it can be done and still be profitable on the small scale." She believes the return on investment in urban agriculture is substantial and hopes to secure grants to roll out her future vision. "If everyone does a little, nobody has to do a lot," she says.

For more information:
Little Garden Next Door
Kim Moffatt, Founder
[email protected]

Harvest Today
+1 (303) 468 7950
[email protected]