Did you know that imported produce starts to lose its nutritional value right from the time it is picked – from days or weeks later when the produce hits your kitchen table? So why not grow produce in your own communities?
Spring has arrived and many of you may have taken up growing your own local produce during COVID!
Growing microgreens on you your kitchen counter – OK, almost anyone can do it with a kit. Now growing plants and vegetables on a larger scale in your backyard or your own greenhouse may be a bit more of a challenge, but you can do it with lots of your attention to sunlight levels, and help watering, feeding and transplanting those seedlings to larger containers and then harvesting them in a timely manner. But can you do it year round in colder or dry hot climates?
Now imagine growing organic vegetables in an automated 40 foot shipping container – where robotics do everything for you, from seeding to harvest and sustainable packaging! Yes, really! And how about tweaking the taste of your vegetables – maybe even in strawberries and peppers? Yes apparently it can be done!
In Episode 3, Arjun shares how he plans on accomplishing his big vision of automating everything in a portable shipping container to grow your food produce in your own communities! He shares how his vision differentiates his automated greenhouse from existing players and competitors in the shipping container greenhouse market. Many of the shipping container greenhouses may have automated several aspects of manual labour, but still require human labour to grow the produce – specifically greenhouse labour. As discussed in earlier Episodes, greenhouse labour is even less available in climates where the growing season is short and seasonal – especially noticed with COVID and the labour mobility limitations. Arjun understands these challenges, as he got his start selling greenhouses and knows the costs and shortfalls of what is available in the market as options.
He is also familiar with the challenges of affordable access to fresh produce in remote communities, having lived in the colder extreme climates of the Northwest Territories and the hotter extreme climates of India and Kenya. Previously in Episode 2: Meet Arjun , he shares how his concept will be able to grow fresh produce from seed to vegetables packaged in finished bioplastic wrapped containers – all done by an automated process in the greenhouse. After you plug in the greenhouse, hook up the water source, add the nutrients, and pull the switch, all you need to do is wait and monitor the progress on your mobile device. When you’re notified the produce is ready, open the door to pick up your ready packaged and ready to eat fresh vegetable produce!
Stay tuned for Episode 4 to find out more about how his patent pending technology works!
All the companies working on fully automated greenhouses are focused on very large warehouse sized projects. While these projects are good for large urban areas they do not address food security issues in smaller communities. Having food grown closer to the consumer also drastically decreases the food waste. My technology utilizes vertical hydroponics, and require a controlled growth environment. One of the formats I am looking at developing automated greenhouses is utilizing refurbished shipping containers.
About Arjun Kumar
Arjun was born in India and moved to Kenya in Africa when he was young. 5 years later in his high school days he moved to Canada. He considers himself lucky to have lived in 5 provinces across Canada. Environmental issues and supporting local food production have always been a passion of his. As for work life balance in keeping him focused, he also trains in kickboxing and jujitsu in his spare time. His other hobbies include cold water swimming, hiking and camping.
About VizVa Agrotech
Vizva AgroTech is developing an automation system for vertical hydroponic greenhouses. Automating the growing process for fresh produce from seed to harvest and packaging utilizing robotics, mechanical systems, AI & IOT.