Episode 3: Bringing Fresh Greens into Detroit with Vertical Farming

Episode 3: Bringing Fresh Greens into Detroit with Vertical Farming

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Meg Burritt is the Leader of Business Development and Kai Misner is the Leader of Hydroponic Technology at Planted Detroit, a beyond-organic farm that grows nutrient-packed greens and micros in a sustainable & controlled environment. Today, Meg and Kai join the show to discuss the vertical farming industry, food supply chain, and Planted Detroit’s mission to make farming more efficient so communities can source fresh produce locally, on a year-round basis. They detail the journey from seed to sale, share how they are fostering a compelling culture, and elaborate on the importance of biosecurity.

00:33 – Michael introduces today’s guests, Meg Burritt and Kai Misner who join the show to share the vision of Planted Detroit and the opportunities they see in the vertical farming industry

08:17 – Meg and Kai speculate on the future of Planted Detroit

12:54 – The journey from seed to sale

19:07 – Building and fostering a great team and a compelling culture

25:33 – Kaizen & Toyota

29:56 – The typical food supply chain system, explained

34:28 – Working with white tablecloth restaurants and ‘community fridges’

37:48 – Meg and Kai elaborate on their biosecurity infrastructure and practices and how they sourcing and validate their seeds

49:40 – Meg and Kai break down what goes into their salads

53:17 – Michael thanks Meg and Kai for joining the show and lets listeners know where can learn more about Planted Detroit

“We love this city and we want to be able to continue to contribute this sort of new technology as well as great jobs and good food for local markets. And then the goal is just to grow beyond that. Our founder Tom’s vision is to feed the world and absolutely views what we’re doing as
additive to the food system.” (08:55) (Meg)

“I think there was a lot to learn there as far as what are the requirements in the controlled
environment. So, I think there were some benefits that we got as far as economy and capital
investing initially, but also have some challenges around controlling the climate in the hottest parts
of the year.” (15:33) (Kai)

“It’s really fascinating to see the quality and the flavor of food in California. And then, as you progressively go East, the decline is significant, especially with leafy greens.”
(32:05) (Kai)

“We just are forever that Kaizen approach of how can we be more and more safe, both for our
employees and our customers, but also for our company.”
(40:21) (Meg)

“Like most growers, we have had to source seeds from a lot of different people and kind of suss
out which seed providers are really giving us the best quality seed, the cleanest seed. So, to
kind of bridge the gap between seed and security, we do require good manufacturing and good agricultural practices from our seed providers.”
(41:44) (Kai)

“And from a sustainability perspective, it’s not just about that head of lettuce and how much
pesticide it has on it, but how much is being absorbed into the soil and integrated into the
ecosystem. And that impact may be a net negative.”
(48:28) (Meg)

Planted Detroit – https://planteddetroit.com/

Planted Detroit Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/planted.detroit

Planted Detroit Twitter – https://twitter.com/planteddetroit

Planted Detroit Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/planted.detroit/

Planted Detroit LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/planted-detroit/

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Freedom Green Farms - Pipp Horticulture Mobile Vertical Grow Racks

Craft at Scale with Freedom Green Farms and Pipp Horticulture

Craft at Scale with Freedom Green Farms and Pipp Horticulture

Pipp Horticulture


Working with Pipp Horticulture means maximizing your canopy space and controlling every aspect of the plant’s growth. Aligning perfectly with Freedom Green Farms’ mission; “Sustainability Made, Simply Clean.” Drew Nowak, Founder/CEO of Freedom Green Farms, wanted to “be kind of new age; we wanted to be different.” The team produces craft at scale, not a thousand pounds every month but four to five hundred pounds per month. At Freedom Green, Drew was looking to grow based on the genetics they received and the demand for those genetics, having the ability to produce what they wanted when they wanted to while having that adjustment ability with their cultivars.


“It doesn’t matter what I like; it doesn’t matter what you like; it matters what the people want,” Drew states as he discusses the demand in the Michigan Cannabis market. Growing cannabis isn’t just about producing the best and the highest THC percentage; it’s about maintaining the quality and educating the public on what that quality means. The Freedom Green Farms team aims to produce the most potent flavor and terpene content while maintaining THC levels. Mike Nowak states, “I’d rather pick one thing and be the best at one thing than do ten things and be average.”


Many questions had come up with the Freedom Green team when moving forward with Pipp Horticulture mobile vertical grow racks. How are we going to work on that second level? Is it going to be safe? Will the plants receive the same amount of attention on the second level? Pipp Horticulture worked with the Freedom Green Farms team to ensure all questions were answered. Contractors and Pipp Horticulture work side by side to help provide guidance. After working with the Pipp team, converting their 21,000-square-foot facility into a vertical farming canopy space was a no-brainer. “Employees feel safer operating on the second level, and it’s just cleaner and safer for us. So really, it’s been a huge benefit to our operation,” Drew explains the transition to vertical farming.

Freedom Green Farms - Greenhaus Industries Grow Trays
Freedom Green Farms - Pipp Horticulture Mobile Vertical Grow Racks
Freedom Green Farms - Pipp Horticulture Mobile Vertical Grow Racks
Freedom Green Farms - Pipp Horticulture Mobile Vertical Grow Racks

Listen below as we sit down with Founder/CEO Drew Nowak to discuss their journey and transition into vertical farming.

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