The global food system is complex, and we’ve seen it strained throughout the last two years, as we navigate the supply chain issues brought on by Covid 19. With current global insecurities, rising fuel prices, and increasing demand, we’re all searching for ways to bring more sustainable practices to food production. Locally grown food offers important economic and environmental benefits, and plays a vital role in developing close-knit communities 

If you’re thinking about controlled environment agriculture (CEA), or adding vertical farming to your indoor grow, keep reading to consider all the reasons why indoor farming is not only an innovative way to grow, but will benefit you, the environment, and Canadian consumers.

Why is local produce important for Canadians? 

Food security – Indoor growing allows local producers to grow multiple crops, year-round and out of season, helping Canadians become less reliant on internationally imported food from the United States, Mexico, and South America. If you’re interested in learning more about the innovation in indoor fruit production, check out our latest blog post on indoor grown strawberries.

Freshness – Locally grown food allows consumers to access produce that’s been harvested at peak freshness, increasing vitamin content and nutritional value.

Environmental impacts – Growing food in densely populated areas also dramatically decreases packaging and transportation costs, allowing growers to positively contribute to climate change challenges. 

Real estate – Your footprint will be smaller with an indoor grow. Vertical farming allows you to stack your grow, meaning you need less space for your crop production. Growing in climate-controlled environments also enables farmers to evade unpredictable weather, drought, outdoor pests, and seasonality

Lower your water bill – Indoor crops lose much less water to evaporation than outdoor agriculture, and water can be recycled and reused throughout the entire system. Some estimates see vertical farming using 90 to 95% less water than traditional farming, an incredible figure which will become more important as we work to increase the preservation of our water resources.

Tax – Carbon taxes are increasing and will make food transportation more expensive. Local growing helps mitigate some of these costs. 

Fuel costs – Gas is going up. Growing nearby reduces travel distances from thousands of miles away, to sometimes, single digits. Take it from our friends at GoodLeaf Farms, who produce microgreens and baby greens in their facility in Guelph, Ontario, and sell at retail locations and restaurants throughout Ontario.

Creating jobs – Moving production to our own backyards increases jobs in the province, not just in the food production industry, but in all ancillary industries – from soil, fertilizer, sensors, and lighting suppliers, to builders, greenhouse staff, transportation, and grocery.

Longer shelf lifeLocal produce faces less travel, and no “ripening on the way” – meaning produce is harvested when mature, giving it a longer shelf life.

Local means less waste – Grocers and market owners love buying local, helping reduce waste at the point of sale, and consistent local supply that isn’t weather dependent – a win for producers and sellers!

Whatever your reason for growing indoors, we’re here to help. Reach out to us at info@golleaftech.com for a free consultation to learn more about how our LED lighting and automated solutions can help you streamline your vertical farm, and power up your grow.