Ecobain Gardens, the largest commercial vertical farm operation in Canada, has completed installation of Philips GreenPower LED production modules. By upgrading the fluorescent lighting previously used in the facility to LED, Philips Lighting is helping the vertical farming pioneer to produce at commercial scale, accelerate growing cycles and grow healthier, more consistent plants, while saving up to $30,000 in energy costs per year.
Producing both organic and non-organic, nutrient-rich herbs and microgreens in a fully controlled indoor facility, Ecobain Gardens was established in 2013 and is the first commercial vertical farming operation in Saskatchewan, Canada. The facility produces 18,000 pounds of produce each year in less than 1,400 square feet. Its farming method uses up to 98 per cent less water, zero harmful chemicals or pesticides. The vertical growing technology and local distribution systems reduce energy use, travel time and proximity of the crop, spoilage rates and overall operating costs.
Ecobain Gardens has partnered with food distributor Star Produce to distribute its produce throughout Canada to retailers such as Loblaw, Federated Co-op, Safeway, Sobeys, and other local grocery stores.
"Our goal is to grow our operation to a scale where we can make a difference to the people of our community who need quality nutrition, no matter their economic standing or geographical location," said Brian Bain, co-founder and CEO of Ecobain Gardens.
The operation is now producing more than 10,000 basil plants a week, which is at commercial scale. The low heat output of the Philips LED lights produces healthier, more consistent plant growth by reducing the heat stress on the plant canopy and root zone and by providing more uniform lighting. Plants also have a better dry weight compared to fluorescent lighting or LED lighting systems from other manufacturers.
In addition, the LED lighting system helped to reduce Ecobain's HVAC system costs by almost 50 per cent while providing Ecobain with increased space efficiency due to the minimal heat radiated by the modules. These benefits enable tighter placement of crop rows and therefore more yield from the same growing area.
LED Lighting Lunch-n-Learn
Philips is holding LED lighting lunch-n-learn seminars for:
Jordan Station, ON – March 28
Medicine Hat, AB – March 29
Surrey, BC – March 30
For more information, go to: http://www.lighting.philips.ca/products/horticulture/ledlunch
Source: Philips Lighting news release