B.C. entrepreneur hopes to bring ‘vertical farming’ to Squamish

A B.C. company is hoping to eliminate the impact wild weather swings can have on food production with its plan for a massive vertical garden in Squamish.

What is more, this concept would provide a steady and stable supply of fruit and vegetables using a fraction of the water and land in conventional farming.

Nick Brusatore with Vertical Designs LTD is hoping his version of vertical gardening will be the future of food production. He’s designed the technology that could take the work out of traditional farming.

“From the seed to the package, we have eliminated a whole bunch of variables in distribution and the whole agriculture model. We have eliminated a lot of that,” says Brusatore.

Brusatore’s B.C. based company is proposing to build a facility in Squamish on 6.5 acres of land.

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Brusatore thinks it could one of the largest vertical gardens of its kind in North America, producing tens of thousands of herbs and vegetables like spinach and lettuce each year.

“People want cleaner food,” says Brusatore. “They want to know where it comes from. Traceability, lower carbon footprint…All the same things that every vertical farming company is about.”

The vertical garden trend is growing.

In Europe, they’ve been sprouting up in a number of cities for some time.

The appeal is that they use less water, hardly any pesticides, and take up less space.

Further to that, Brusator says his design would produce food quickly.

What normally would take between 80 and 90 days to grow, his vertical garden could reduce that time almost in half.

Squamish city council still has to approve the project, but Brusator says it could be a very profitable venture, genertating over six million dollars a year in revenues and about a dozen jobs, all through  the production of plants of various kinds.

In addition to growing vegetables, Brusatore is also hoping to mass produce medicinal marijuana.

In fact, the application is in motion to apply for a federal license through Health Canada.

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If successful, he hopes Squamish city council gives him the green light.

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