$30M to build VF long-vacant historic building

$30M to build VF long-vacant historic building

A new agricultural-tech company is aiming to bring life back to a historic southwestern Manitoba landmark, with a $30-million investment to create a huge vertical farming operation in Brandon's downtown.

Brandon Fresh Farms Inc. president Adam Morand says the company was created to purchase the iconic McKenzie Seeds building in Brandon and make it home to a 120,000-square-foot vertical farm.

Vertical farms involve growing crops in stacked layers, using controlled-environment agriculture — often in places like buildings or shipping containers that are smaller then traditional farming areas.

"It's a food security project, but it is also a heritage building project," Morand said.

The food that is grown will be sold for retail or wholesale use, and any leftovers will be donated to the local food bank, he said. Once it is completed, the farm will generate tonnes of locally grown produce each month, including basil, cherry tomatoes, chives, cilantro, cucumber, peppers and lettuce. 

"We have no interest in growing the … [crops] that Brandon already has," Morand said.

"The idea is to find all of the crops and all of the things that come from far away … that cost the most to bring in," and "make them local," he said.

Continue reading.

Photo by Philip Myrtorp on Unsplash



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