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Indoor Harvest is a vertical farming design company that recently announced the results of an aeroponic pilot system and the next steps in the ongoing Cannabis Production Pilot Project with Tweed, the leading producer of medical marijuana in Canada.
After interviewing founder Chad Sykes, who famously told me not to grow lettuce, to celebrate their 1 month series A funding anniversary, we realized it was high time to shed some more light on what this company is doing.
As reported by the company:
The initial aeroponic Pilot Project took place between March and August 2015. A sativa dominant strain, Ghost Train Haze, was selected and 8 plants were grown in a 4′ X 8′ X 2′ system using a “Screen of Green” cultivation method, in which plants are cropped and trained to produce a higher yield from a single plant. Indoor Harvest’s patent pending aeroponic system showed a significant increase in growth rate during the vegetative stage, as compared to more traditional production methods such as drip irrigation using coco.
Fertilizer usage was reduced by as much as 68% with the system averaging 8 gallons a day under high pressure sodium and 9 gallons a day under LED, operating drain to waste. As tuning of the system progressed, average water use was reduced to approximately 5 gallons per day drain to waste. Indoor Harvest believes that through additional tuning, more water savings for drain to waste and under recirculated operation can be achieved, and water use could be reduced by as much as 98% overall. Under 2,000 watts of high-pressure sodium lighting, the aeroponic system produced 3.1 pounds of dried flowers and under 1,040 watts of LED lighting produced 2.8 pounds of dried flowers in its initial test.
Chad and his team want to design really good systems that work within the reality of what vertical farming can achieve in its current form. He once told me that he turned away 90% of the people that came to talk to him about vertical farming because they had no idea what it was going to take. This is a company that seems to strive for excellence and the fact that they are putting data out there, hopefully in partnership with MIT CityFarm soon, means a lot to the vertical farming industry.