Vancouver-based Alterrus Systems will begin building North America’s first VertiCrop urban farming system on the top level of a downtown Vancouver parking lot.
Alterrus’s VertiCrop vertical-farming technology uses hydroponic technology to grow leafy green vegetables and herbs in a greenhouse without pesticides or herbicides.
Its produce will be transported directly to local Vancouver markets, reducing carbon footprint. The produce will be available in Vancouver in October.
“The VertiCrop technology represents a radical shift in sustainable food production,” said Christopher Ng, Alterrus CEO. “Current food-production methods are ineffective in dealing with the challenges of growing populations and decreasing amounts of farmland. VertiCrop’s high-density urban farming is an effective way to grow nutritious food using fewer land and water resources than traditional field-farming methods.”
“The smaller carbon footprint involved is a critical point,” he added. “Food production represents one of the world’s largest sources of unwanted gas emissions.”
Alterrus expects the facility to produce more than 150,000 pounds annually. The facility will be 5,700 square feet with 4,000 square feet devoted to growing the produce in trays. The remaining 1,700 square feet will be used for picking and packaging. It will use 10% of the water required for traditional field agriculture while producing higher yields.
The urban farm will operate year round. “That reliability offers benefits to the retailer and consumer,” noted Christopher. “This nutritious produce can be grown and delivered to our customers any time throughout the year.”