In fact, most of the CO2 in the world that is produced naturally is absorbed by vegetation in a process called photosynthesis which uses the sun’s energy to convert CO2 and water into glucose, releasing oxygen as a by-product. By using an on-site natural gas power plant, it is possible to supply sufficient power to the project and distribute enough power to each household, business and Band owned facility while at the same time supplying all of the CO2 requirements for the greenhouse operation without emitting any CO2 into the atmosphere. The land required for the vertical farm project as proposed is 5 hectares
Vertical farming makes more efficient use of land, water and energy to grow food crops free of pesticides, herbicides, preservatives and GMO seeds. On top of all that, they create dramatically fewer emissions caused by the transportation of food. The optimization of the cultivation process means a better return on investment and a consistent quality of product for consumers. As the global population is estimated to exceed 7.5 billion people by 2030 and 9 billion by 2050, this sustainable method of farming will become commonplace and will help ensure future food security. Compared to conventional farming, it requires very little water (up to 99% less) and a relatively small footprint to produce high volumes of quality organic produce year-round (1/5 of an acre of floor space equals 30 acres of yield).
Special low energy LED lighting illuminate plants from germination to fully mature plants with the correct light formula or recipe to ensure uniform growth. Growers can control the exact duration, brightness and spectra of light each crop receives, ensuring consistent growth all year round. With LED lighting, it is possible to grow crops like herbs, leafy greens, flowers and strawberries year-round, even in the winter months. Since LED light can be used in place of daylight, other fruity plants and vegetables, such as, raspberries, blueberries, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, can be grown vertically in multiple levels. This would not have been possible previously, because a multi-tiered system in a greenhouse would result in the lower layers of plants being shaded from sunlight.
4 SKIES is collaborating with IGES Canada Ltd. and Light Emitting Computers Inc. to involve experienced scientists, horticulturalists and lighting technicians to help it plan a large scale produce growing facility for the KAHNAWAKE Project.
As much as possible, this state-of-the–art facility will take advantage of the available CO2 and waste heat from the gas power plant to grow fruits and vegetables year-round.
4 SKIES envisions the facility will comprise only vertical farming techniques, but traditional greenhouse operations, using single-storey greenhouses, may also be considered if sufficient land is available. Although food crops will be the focus of the vertical farming operation, certain herbs and spices, including medicinal plants and herbs, as well as some species of flowers, could also be considered. A special section could also be reserved for silviculture to provide seedlings for reforestation projects.
To complete the produce growing facility, 4 SKIES envisions a small on-site clean water purification plant that utilizes modern distillation and reverse osmosis technologies to treat and clean large volumes of fresh water daily coming from Lake Simcoe or an on-site well. Since vertical farming uses 99% less water than a traditional farm using irrigation, there should be plenty of water available for the vertical farm crops, pure and free from contaminants. Of course, if a utility scale NGCC plant is recommended from the feasibility study, then there will be a much greater amount of water required for cooling purposes, though there should be no difficulty sourcing water from the flooded Gravel pit for that purpose, or directly from the St. Lawrence River if necessary.