I'd like to introduce you to my newest babies. I'm not crazy enough to have given all my plants names, but I do think of them as my babies. I talk to them, check on them incessently and worry at the first sign of wilting.
This newest Zengarry adventure is our Living Wall Project.
I am in the process of learning to be hydroponic farmer, under the close supervision of Eric Bergeron and the team from Smart Greens.
I'm definitely not an expert yet, but I am learning all about nutrient requirements, hydroponics, light cycles and organic seed coatings!!
So far we have installed two of these ZipGrow Farm Wall units (see below) in our new vegan cheese production facility. They are right up front so you can see them when you pop in to visit us!
Getting a reliable source of fresh basil year around has proven to be a bit of an adventure for us here in rural Ontario, and I have always dreamed of being able to grow our herbs locally. Being in Canada, that obviously presents it's challenges.
Last summer I planted some basil, parsley and jalapeños in the garden and we did use some of this fresh produce in our cheeses, but it was not even close to being enough to meet our growing demands.
This new up and coming indoor hydroponic technology is giving me hope though!
The amazing folks from SmartGreens in Cornwall, Ontario, are doing great things with hydroponics and are even adapting the freight farm technology to be better suited to our chilly Canadian winters!! This can allow fresh produce to be grown in even the Northernmost communities which would not usually have access to produce this fresh!
So far, most of the ZipGrow Walls sold have been for home use. Ours is the first commercial application here in Canada, and I consider us pretty lucky to be able to participate in this innovative indoor farming pilot project!
Our first harvest was a great success. We were able to harvest 26 ounces of basil from one of our ZipGrow units! This fresh basil was picked right before use at the peak of freshness! I hope you will be able to taste this freshness in every bite of our Sundried Tomato and Basil Cashew Cheese!
Part of the beauty of this technology is that we use no pesticides, no packaging, we know exactly where it's been and who's been in contact with it and it only has to be transported a few meters to our production room!! Great news for the planet!
We cannot overlook the beauty of being able to watch these plants grow and thrive in our living wall as we carefully nurture them to maturity. It brings a vibrant energy and earthiness to the space, and the scent of basil in my office is just a bonus!
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