What is CEA?
Over the past year or so you may have heard us at Vertical Harvest referring to our “conversion” project – the construction of which has been the cause of some product delays and shortages. But now all of the hard work and waiting has come to fruition as we are now ready to welcome you into our new Micro Farm: A Farm Within a Farm.
The idea emerged when we noticed an increase in demand from our local chefs and grocery stores to supply more microgreens and petite greens. This happened to align with an internal ambition we have been fostering to implement a fully Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) system within our greenhouse. The new compartment has 4,000 sq feet of rack systems growing micro and petite greens fully independent of the whims of nature.
This farm is our next iteration for creating efficient and scalable growing systems. As we are seeing greater fluctuations in our local and national climates it has become increasingly important to us to delve into the capabilities of a growing system that is fully self-contained and not dependent on external changes in light and temperature. Instead, the greens will be nurtured in light and temperature conditions that are ideal to their growth cycles. This space has also increased our greenhouse production by 200%, meaning we can get our community more of the greens it loves both at home and when dining out.
Though our Maine greenhouse will incorporate some different technology, it will have a tray system that is very similar to this new compartment; so we have also reserved a portion of this new space to trial products and improve growing methods to ensure that our Westbrook greenhouse will have all the resources and information needed to hit the ground running when it plants its first seeds. We are already growing in the new space, training our employees on the new system, and getting our greens to customers. Vertical Harvest has always integrated different techniques and changed to growing demands, this project has been challenging and rewarding and will go on to influence all of our future greenhouses.