Affinor Growers, the vertical farming technology and operations company with a commercial production facility in Abbotsford B.C. has been issued Patent No. 2 940 062 by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada) for “method and apparatus for automated vertical horticulture and agriculture”.
The invention relates to the fields of horticulture, hydroponics and agriculture, and particularly apparatus and methods for automated commercial growth and production of plants in controlled environments. The patent abstract describes “a method and apparatus for continuous automated growing of plants utilizing a vertical array of supporting arms extending radially from a central axis. Each arm has a plurality of pot and receptacles which receive the plant seedlings and liquid nutrients and water. The potting arms are rotated beneath grow lamps and pollinating arms. The frequency of feeding is increased as the plants grow. CO2 enriched air may also be provided. Once the plants are ready to harvest, they are manually exchanged for new seedlings and packaged.”
Affinor is in the process of permitting their new proprietary greenhouse, the “Atlantis”, which will accommodate growing strawberries, romaine lettuce, kale, and spinach in soil or hydroponic at 8 levels. This is double the current 4-level towers substantially decreasing costs and increasing yield.
Affinor plans to offer the most sustainable, automated, turnkey commercial solution reducing water use and using alternative energy. There are 40 solar cells currently installed with two Tesla Powerwall batteries to ensure the irrigation and air handling systems continue to function during power outages.
Affinor CEO, Nick Brusatore commented: “We are continuously adding to our IP portfolio. This solidifies our patent protection for our vertical rotating tower technology.”