December 8, 2017 - Comments Off on Q&A with Aaron Spiro, President of Modular Farms
This month we sat down with Aaron Spiro, president and lead farmer at Modular Farms, to pick his brain on everything from taking the business international to what he's reading now.
What’s the best thing about being lead farmer at Modular Farms?
My favorite aspect of being the lead farmer is experimenting with different crops and having constant interactions with those who purchase and utilize our produce. Our farms have proven to be extremely versatile in terms of the crops we are able to cultivate, and having constant feedback from those who are purchasing and eating our produce allows me to continually improve our growing procedures, which in turn helps all of the modular farmers we currently have in our network.
What crops are you experimenting with right now?
We are currently experimenting with mini pumpkins, strawberries, rosemary and a variety of different micro greens like nasturtium, sorrel, pea shoots and popcorn shoots.
What was your biggest learning experience when creating Modular Farms? What previous farming experience did you?
Everything was a learning experience for me, as I have no formal background in agronomy or horticulture. Thankfully our farms are designed with folks like me in mind and I was able to get a thorough crash course through Upstart University and via hours of hands-on experience running our office farm.
Modular Farms is now in Australia. What it been like taking this business to the land down under?
It has been a wonderful experience so far, and I can’t say enough positive things about our team in Brisbane! That region of the world is in desperate need of turnkey indoor farming systems, as communities there struggle with droughts, floods and inadequate arable land on a consistent basis. I am extremely excited to see our team tackle the food security issues plaguing both the desert climate regions of Australia, as well as the remote island communities of the south pacific.
Improving food security is a huge mission for Modular Farms. How do you see vertical farming answering today’s food security challenges faced by Canadians? In particular, those in Northern Canada where produce is not always readily available.
We designed and built our farming modules with the needs of northern Canadian communities primarily in mind. Our system best serves communities that struggle with consistent weather, arable land and importing fresh produce. By building a container from the ground up, utilizing heavily insulated panels that can control the internal environment of the farm, no matter how bad the weather outside gets, we can guarantee inhabitants of remote cities and towns a consistent supply of crops year-round.
What are you reading right now?
Right now I’m in the middle of re-reading one of my favorite books – ‘Abundance’ by Peter Diamandis.
What’s next for Modular Farms?
Modular Farms is currently in a state of rapid expansion. We’re in the process of designing and building out our next line of modules, opening up a new office and research facility in Chesterville, beginning research and development into Cannabis cultivation, and building/shipping out more farming modules all over the world than ever before!