Prof. Youbin Zheng
Prof. Youbin Zheng

Profs. Youbin Zheng and Mike Dixon with U of G’s School of Environmental Sciences spoke to TVO about the growing interest in vertical farming in Ontario.

Zheng noted that in Ontario, growing vegetables in a field means a shot growing season but growing indoors with vertical farming can extend that growing season to year round.

Prof. Mike Dixon

Dixon, the director of U of G’s Controlled Environment Systems Research Facility, added though while it’s easy enough to grow lettuce and other fast-growing greens in vertical farming, it’s more challenging to grow fruit and legumes, which require more nutrition, space and growing time.

Dixon studies controlled environments, biological life support and plant-environment interaction.

Zheng studies greenhouse production, hydroponics, as well as indoor horticultural practices for high-quality cannabis.