A new Canadian company specialising in sustainable agriculture – Gigrow Urban Farms, has announced an investment of CA$13 million for the construction of its first urban farm. Located in the Varennes industrial park, the 24,000-square-foot facility will become one of Québec’s largest urban agriculture projects.
Horizontal rotary cultivation – Gravity Injection Growing
Gigrow Urban Farms will use its partner Gigrow‘s innovative Québec-developed technology called injection rotary garden. The unusual indoor system uses gravity to rotate plants around an illuminated drum to maximise photosynthesis whilst oxygenating roots and minimising required space.
Plants are kept at a highly controlled temperature and humidity level whilst requiring 90% less water and 65% less nutrients than hydroponic culture. A single lettuce obtains 18 inch maturity within 20 days. With 365 day a year crop growth, Gigrow Urban Farms has set a target of producing up to four million heads of lettuce and other leafy greens per year.
“Horizontal rotary cultivation is one of the most sustainable solutions for the future of agriculture,” says André Tremblay, President of Gigrow Urban Farms. “We are proud to offer a greener alternative with a carbon footprint as much as five times smaller than other farming methods! Our farms will be operated in a controlled environment that is available 365 days a year. This means we are not dependent on the seasons or the weather. This is a significant step towards Québec’s food autonomy!”
More urban farms targeted by 2026
With this new infrastructure, Gigrow Urban Farms aims to help support Canadian government efforts to achieve food self-sufficiency through consistent local production. This initial urban farm is a first milestone for the company, which wants to build three to four other similar facilities across Québec within the next five years. In addition, since the technology used meets all organic farming criteria, the company is seeking to obtain organic certification for its crops in the near future.
“The City of Varennes wants to become a benchmark for sustainable development in Québec,” said Varennes Mayor Martin Damphousse. “We are very pleased to welcome a company like Gigrow Urban Farms, whose mission is perfectly in tune with our city’s values.”