Welcome to the UTM Farm!
What is it?
The UTM Farm is a classic shipping container on the outside, but completely transformed on the inside with a hydroponic farming system that yields wicked results in an incredibly safe, healthy, and sustainable fashion.
Where is it?
It's located in P9 outside of the Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Centre! Currently, it is a plain white shipping container in the corner, but big plans are in the making to make it look awesome.
Who manages it?
We (Hospitality & Ancillary Services) have a special-trained farmer who maintains the UTM Farm and harvests the greens when they are ready for consumption.
Why do we have it?
With 36,960” of linear growing space & 8,800 plant sites, there are acres worth of growing space in just 40 x 8 feet. With adjustable grow rows the container format allows for functional and customizable workspace, maximizing growing potential.
Our UTM Farmer, Pawel, nurses the crops from a nursing station for seedlings, through the cultivation area for maturing crops, all the way to harvesting the herbs and leafy greens for consumption. The container format provides the perfect growing environment every day of the year with its controlled environment and protective insulation against extreme weather as well as pests & plant disease.
Through the use of high-efficiency LEDs we're able to stimulate faster plant growth and drive high production, and with precise hydroponics, we're able to use less than 5 gallons of water per day for over 13,000 plants.
The UTM Farm grows plants hydroponically which means rather than using soil, it uses a nutrient solution. The water nourishes the roots, collects in a gutter, and then recirculates back to a nutrient tank that feeds back into the hydroponic system. While this may sound like it is heavy on electricity, it is actually very efficient.
How is it so sustainable?
This style of farming decreases the carbon footprint that goes along with mass farming, packaging, and delivery. This method of growing can use up to 99% less water, has no environmental runoff from fertilizers, grows approximately two weeks faster than outdoor agriculture, and uses little to no pesticides and herbicides. It offers a plan to handle future food demands, allows all crops to grow year-round as they are not affected by weather, and it is almost organic-level farming.
What is the total output?
We anticipate 2-6 tons, which is the equivalent of 2-4 acres, annually.
What do we grow?
We have already grown over 60 types of produce, including kale, lettuce, thyme, arugula, cilantro, peppermint, basil, and parsley and are producing an average of 12.8 kilos of leafy greens and herbs each month. At full capacity, the farm can grow 560 plants (56 towers x 10 plants per tower); of course that will depend on what is growing. Each plant has a lifespan of about 5-7 harvests, which is usually a couple of months.
Our previous UTM Farm Walls
Previously we maintained our UTM Farm Walls in Colman Commons (in Oscar Peterson Hall) and through that system have already grown over 60 types of produce including kale, lettuce, thyme, arugula, cilantro, peppermint, basil, and parsley and produced an average of 12.8 kilos of leafy greens and herbs each month.
At full capacity, the farm was able to grow 560 plants (56 towers x 10 plants per tower); of course depending upon what was growing.
Each plant has a lifespan of about 5-7 harvests, which is usually a couple of months.
Meet our UTM Farmer, Pawel! Meet Pawel
Questions? Contact us!
William G. Davis building, Suite 3127
Making experiences, exceptional