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Canada gets its first hands-free vertical farming facility

UP Vertical Farms is expected to produce nearly 2 million pounds of salad greens each year
Bahram Rashti of UP Vertical Farms just helped unveiled Canada’s first hands-free vertical farming facility. (Special to The News)

The new vertical farming facility in Pitt Meadows is the first of its kind in Canada and promises to yield 350 times the greens as field-grown crops.

Brothers Shahram and Bahram Rashti officially started UP Vertical Farms in 2021, and with some help from their sales and marketing partner Oppy, they’ve now been able to unveil their new state-of-the-art facility.

READ MORE: Brothers bring UP Vertical Farms to Pitt Meadows

“We are thrilled to go live after many years of research, development, and planning,” said Bahram.

Using specialized indoor growing methods, UP Vertical Farms is able to produce greens in a fully automated system that uses 99 per cent less land, water, and fertilizer than traditional farming methods, they say.

It also avoids the use of pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides, and is able to recycle carbon dioxide produced by the plants.

“With climate change affecting the fresh produce supply in a multitude of ways, we’re honoured to do our part to help Canada navigate its food security issues — as with recent shortages experienced in the traditional leafy greens sector, for example,” said Bahram.

“These limitations in supply will be a continuous issue, one that we had foreseen, and for which we developed a commercial scale solution to address. Our facility will further limit Canada’s dependence on imported greens in the provinces we supply, and we anticipate expanding our footprint quickly.”

RELATED: Vertical farm company based in Pitt Meadows, Langley raises millions

The Pitt Meadows facility is projected to produce nearly two million pounds of salad greens per year, which is possible thanks to the automated 13 to 21-day growing periods for the crops.

All of the greens produced are designed to last 22-plus days in the refrigerator and do not require washing due to the lack of human contact in the growing process.

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Brandon Tucker

About the Author: Brandon Tucker

I have been a journalist since 2013, with much of my career spent covering sports and entertainment stories in Alberta.
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