Just Vertical – Establishment of a Sustainable Enterprise focused on Urban Farming

Project Lead: Conner Tidd

In their own words “Just Vertical is leading the charge on bringing food production back to cities with our indoor vertical farms which grow 3 weeks faster than field agriculture using up to 99% less water and no pesticides…that far-off dream of a vertical farm on the 40th floor is no longer a dream, it is what we are doing now at Just Vertical.”

Developed to address the issues of water usage, supply and demand, distribution, and food waste that Just Vertical believes are a product of the modern food system, Just Vertical’s founders, University of Toronto Master of Science graduates Conner Tidd and Kevin Jakiela, aim to solve the problem of food spoilage by cutting the long supply chains that can keep food from reaching your plate at its peak of freshness.

Their product is designed to be used by individuals in relatively small spaces. Wall-mountable towers upon which a variety seedlings included in the monthly rental package can be grown in an apartment if the urban farming bug bites you.

“At Just Vertical we have embraced hydroponic technology and the ZipGrow hardware system, combined with our plant science knowledge to enable people to grow their own food. When assessing how to turn people into urban farmers we found that people enjoyed doing the hands-on work (and eating the produce!) but they found the amount of knowledge needed to choose appropriate hardware, nutrients, and plants daunting …So, we stepped up to the challenge and through a combination of traditional plant knowledge, constant testing, proprietary blends, seeds, a bit of elbow grease, and some very cool IoT solutions we have managed to turn everyday people into farmers.”

All of the crops produced on Just Vertical “FarmWalls” are grown using “no pesticides or biotechnology” and they “report that this year if we did not sell another unit we would eliminate 28,512,000 food kilometres, save 299,376 litres of water, and grow 5,400 pounds of produce in the GTA alone.”

To put that in perspective that is enough to go to the moon 74 times, take 8 553 showers, or to eat 5 servings of vegetables a day for 3 years straight! Of course, this is just the beginning for Just Vertical as we strive to become the biggest farmer in the world without owning any farmland.”