#Cool Companies: Ferme Marseni Knows How to Grow When It's Really Cold

May 07, 2024 |   2 minute read

#Cool Companies: Ferme Marseni Knows How to Grow When It's Really Cold

Right now, fresh basil is growing in the greenhouses at Ferme Marseni. It’s winter in Ottawa, Canada (it’s cold, and the ground is frozen).  How does this cool company owner, Marc Brisson, grow fresh basil and other microgreens in Canada year-round? Vertical farming.

Vertical farming is a controlled environment agriculture (CEA) technology where plants are grown in layers on top of each other.

This technology is mind-blowing and life-changing for fresh food lovers in a Canadian climate (mostly short summer growing seasons and long winters). Ferme Marseni is giving consumers in eastern Ontario the choice of buying fresh, non-GMO quality products that they can afford. Grown locally all year round. 

Gravity Injection Growing, or GiGrow, is the Ferme Marseni vertical farming technique. The farm currently operates 50 GiGrow machines. The gravity-fed rotary system keeps produce off the ground, maximizing space use in a greenhouse. The cyclical growing process sees new crops every 28 days for a continuously fresh supply. 

Apart from basil, the GiGrow system can support various indoor plant production, such as microgreens, vegetables, herbs, and flowers. 

The managed growing space also keeps crops healthy and pest-free (without chemicals). 

As urban populations grow, so does the demand for produce grown close to where people live. Ferme Marseni can meet these demands in a country where the weather is cold and unpredictable and extreme climate events are becoming more frequent. 


How to Grow More & Impact the Environment Less: Vertical Farming

vertical farming image

Innovative techniques like vertical farming allow for significant environmental changes from traditional agriculture. At Ferme Marseni:

  • Growing uses 70 and 95 percent less water than conventional agriculture, 
  • The plants require 90 percent less soil, and 
  • The vertical growth offers 80 percent more harvest per unit area.

The farm is lessening its environmental impact because of its location in eastern Ontario, a hub for logistics and shipping companies. Local innovative packaging companies provide low-waste wrapping. Easy access to suitable transport options and the fact that Ferme Marseni produce can reach grocers in about an hour’s drive means fewer losses due to spoilage and reduced carbon emissions.  

Along with following the Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) for fruit and vegetable suppliers, the farm also incorporates business practices that highlight:

  • Business ethics, 
  • Respect for workers, 
  • Environmental protection and 
  • Animal health and welfare.

Ferme Marseni is getting their goods to your neighbourhood grocers as a Tangible Words client. Using a targeted marketing strategy and developing a new website, they’re finding the best grocery stores in eastern Ontario ready to offer Ferme Marseni quality produce.


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