January has undoubtedly been the busiest month in the history of our young company. For each calendar day that passed we were introduced to more and more people that are driven to reshape the agricultural landscape, both domestically and abroad, via the use of ZipGrow technology, Modular Farms and other sustainable farming practices. At this rate, 2017 is poised to be a huge year for the indoor farming industry as a whole, and we are honored to be amongst the cohort of businesses that are helping to educate and empower the next generation of hydroponic farmers to make a difference in their communities.
Recently, we had the privilege of taking some of our FarmWalls out of our office and showcasing them at various places throughout our community. The first stop on tour was at an event hosted by 4Life Natural Foods in Kensington Market - an urban Toronto grocery store focused on selling locally sourced, sustainable organic produce. We partnered with 4Life to assist in the development and construction of a 5000 square foot indoor ZipFarm that will be located on the roof of their downtown location.
The FarmWall we showcased at the event gave the grocer's patrons a chance to get a first-hand look, feel and taste of the produce that will be available to them year-round once construction of the rooftop farm is complete. Needless to say, a lot of excitement ensued from those who bravely trekked through the hideous snowstorm to attend that evening.
The second, and more permanent, stop on the FarmWall tour was at the Institute of Management and Innovation, located at the University of Toronto's Mississauga campus. Under the guidance of our Plant Health Technician, Kevin, the Sustainability Management grad students have been eagerly putting their studies into practice by utilizing the 2-tower system as a part of their Capstone project. We are overjoyed with the amount of interest that the students are having with the project, and are excited to see and taste the fruits of their labour!
This month marked the end of an era for Modular Farms, as we watched our beloved beta farm get unplugged, decommissioned and whisked away from our office on the back of a truck. On the bright side, we took solace in the fact that it was on its way to Cornwall, where the Smart Greens team will be using it to educate and train the first generation of Canadian Modular Farmers. As much as our team will miss working and growing in the ol' girl, the farm's departure from our Brampton office signifies our official transition from farmers to manufacturers, as we begin getting the first set of Modular Farms off the production line and into the eager hands of our customers.
As most of you already know, unlike other containerized indoor farming providers, who simply re-purpose used shipping containers, we custom build our farms from the ground up. Aside from the extra room allotted to farmers for working, the fact that our farms are made in-house allows us to meticulously observe and scrutinize the entire manufacturing process. This ensures that the farms our customers are receiving meet all of our stringent quality control requirements; and, as you can see from the above video, it also ensures that we will have a steady stream of memorizing time-lapses of the farms being assembled for years to come!
This month also featured our CEO's yearly overseas pilgrimage out east to the annual Indoor Ag-Con event in Singapore, where he was once again honoured as a featured speaker. The event this year was mainly focused on the accelerating innovation in the industry, from plant biology to innovative farm designs and new business models. Once the event concluded, Eric also had the pleasure of venturing slightly south for the official ribbon-cutting of Modular Farms' new office and manufacturing facility in Australia!
Stay tuned for the next installment of our newsletter!
Published by: Cathy Riani in News