Updated: May 28, 2020
Building our vertical farming research and development facility in the UK started quite some time ago. We’re now about a week away from installation as a result of a fruitful partnership with Crop Health and Protection (CHAP). Originally we were planning to demonstrate the transfer of technology from Asia in the form of a turnkey vertical farming solution. What we’re delivering next week is a solution which enables the development of UK technologies that we can then export across the world.
We started the commissioning and due diligence process for suppliers back in September and met some incredible innovators and teams along the way. After completing due diligence, we started working with the awesome GrowStack on the build of the system and they promptly ordered the shipping containers for the build which began in January. Much of the heavy-duty internal and external steelworks were completed by a specialist company in Warrington and I had the pleasure of visiting them back in April to examine their progress.
After this work was completed, the containers were returned back to GrowStack’s HQ in North Yorkshire where the work of turning our three steel boxes into a vertical farm, really began. We worked closely with Growstack to ensure we were building a cutting-edge future-proofed system that would set the template for revolutionising the industry. This involved close coordination on everything, from ensuring that our Folia Nova lights were fit in an optimal way in order to maximise yield, to agreeing on the details of the pumps, filters and tanks. Building a vertical farm is a complex process and the details matter.
It was certainly satisfying to watch the final stages of assembly last week whilst we spent a few days with the GrowStack team and I’ll be watching with bated breath on Thursday as our farm is manoeuvred into place by crane to its new home, on site at the James Hutton Institute in Dundee.