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“Restaurants like to work with us because other salads were so expensive”

“When the price of lettuce reached $9 CAD per capita during Covid-19, I started exploring other ways to grow our own produce at home. My husband Parry is a conventional farmer, so we know quite a bit about farming. While looking for methods to grow our own produce at home, we soon came across the Harvest Today Vertigation™ system, which was a perfect fit with our vision of growing local food year-round,” says Kim Moffatt, founder of The Little Garden Next Door (LGND), a small indoor farm in the heart of Minnedosa, Manitoba, just two hours west of Winnipeg, Canada.

Kim Moffatt

Kim’s experience with permaculture came in handy when they built their first Harvest Wall in their guest room. Since the Walls are a plug-and-play concept, their first wall of 720 plants was soon up and running in the guest room. Kim quickly expanded her mini-farm and doubled her yield by adding another Harvest Wall.

In addition, she also had a smaller, mobile unit that she could drive around. She has expansion plans to convert the house next door into a 450 square foot indoor farm that grows over 5,000 plants. Kim propagates her seeds for three weeks before planting them on the Harvest Walls. At the same time, Kim and Parry have become distributors of Harvest Today’s Grow Walls throughout the Manitoba region.

A little insight into Kim’s farm

“We have a dehumidifier and three fans, as well as a fly screen in the outside door,” Kim explains. By running the dehumidifier at night and leaving the door open during the day, they maintain optimal humidity and temperature.” Despite the limitations of the former bedroom, the variety of plants LGND grows is quite impressive. In addition to lettuce and herbs, Kim and Parry cultivate houseplants, climbing plants, medicinal plants, peppers, small tomatoes, green beans, strawberries and sweet peas. “I used to be unable to grow anything, but now I firmly believe that anyone can grow anything on these walls,” Kim says.

Kim controls most parameters via her phone

Lower prices and consistent quality
Kim had already partnered with various restaurants in the village through her embroidery business, which served them quite well during their first fruit and vegetable sales. “They were excited and willing to work with us since the other lettuce available was so expensive and offered no guarantee of quality. Since April 30, 2023, we have had stable sales and now supply three restaurants,” Kim explains. LGND also runs a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program that delivers to local residents on Tuesdays and offers pickups on Fridays. “We have a waiting list right now, but people are grabbing extra bags whenever they can,” Kim says, laughing.

Because Kim and Parry believe that food should be accessible to everyone, they make it a point to offer their products at fair prices. “I think the size is comparable to what you get in the supermarket. We want to offer quality products at affordable prices. Local products should not be sold at gourmet prices,” she says. The farm offers 180-gram bags of mixed salad and greens for around CND8. Thanks to a reusable bag system, customers can return their bags and pick up new products weekly.

The harvested products

Community engagement and future plans
“The response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive. Everyone who sees the garden says, ‘This is amazing,’ so we knew we were onto something,” says Kim. Although they don’t advertise, they have a growing waiting list and a steady stream of enthusiastic customers.

Looking ahead, Kim plans to expand the model to other communities. “Every community needs a small garden,” she claims. They are already in talks with communities in the north, where fresh produce is scarce and expensive. And they have rented out their smaller garden wall to a summer camp for the summer months. Campers will be offered a new program for growing indoors and supplementing their diet with fresh greens during camp.

Branded salad before being picked up by the customer

Government support can play a crucial role in this expansion, Kim explains. “I really hope we can help others get government support and funding as well. We’ve proven over the last year that it’s possible and profitable even on a small scale.” She believes the return on investment in urban farming is significant and hopes to receive grants to realize her vision for the future. “If everyone does a little, no one has to do much,” she says.

For more informations:
Small garden next door
Kim Moffatt, Founder
(email protected)

Harvest today
+1 (303) 468 7950
(email protected)
Harvest today

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