Gilles and Guillaume Dumont, the challenge launched at Newton

Gilles et Guillaume Dumont, le défi lancé à Newton

Good Lord ! Is it possible ? Until now, to illustrate the just-in-time theory, management schools cited Toyota, Apple and McDonalds. According to this method, the raw materials are only sent to the production workshops once the order is confirmed and the product is ready to be manufactured. This reduced waste and storage costs. But today, in the municipality of Saint-Philippe (Montérégie), a father and his son are revolutionizing this principle by applying it to plants that even grow upside down!

Due to the inventiveness of Gilles Dumont and the developer talents of his son Guillaume, the GiGrow system which they developed with the help of an army of multidisciplinary experts can boast of being the only rotary injection garden that works with gravity. A Big Wheel capable of supercharging growth at high speed.

After more than two years of research and development, Guillaume and his team have achieved the feat of providing their plants with the exact quantity of nutrients and water they require at the precise moment they really need them. Of Just in time devoted to chlorophyll which would pave the way for a revolution (to put it mildly) in the way of growing vegetables, salads, herbs and flowers.

Gone is the principle of flooding vegetables with enormous quantities of water and fertilizers which contaminate waterways and degrade the environment, even in the case of hydroponic crops. Not only is the entire process done in a closed circuit, but the method devised has made it possible to obtain mass production with a nutrient supply as precise as if pipettes were used in the laboratory! Drip without recirculating liquids.

The electrical engineer in his mid-thirties is very proud to offer his solution which requires barely 10 to 15 liters of water per kilo of lettuce compared to 200 in soil cultivation. Not to mention the fact that per square foot, this technology is 150 times more productive than black soil cultivation. And to make matters worse, everything matures without pesticides, fungicides or insecticides. No wonder GiGrow was recognized by the organization Solar Impulse European as part of the 1000 most eco-environmental solutions to fight climate change.

We don't need to sanitize everything to achieve a healthy environment. It is when the plants are upside down that we inject nutrients and water which spread by capillary action. In addition to maximizing the amount of oxygen in the roots, this method produces less humidity, which slows the spread of insect pests and diseases. We provide and control the optimal environment for the plant using soil, good bacteria, good fungi in the soil. You can even use potting soil. With just three employees, a farm of 200 rotating gardens can produce 750,000 lettuces per year. »

At the beginning, Guillaume had a lot of work to do to convince agricultural specialists in Europe and elsewhere. After all, feeding salads upside down and growing them in 20 days without pulling them by the leaves still went a bit against conventional wisdom and Newton's theory. But faced with the evidence, everyone understood that giving plants exercise is very beneficial.

It is in Varennes, barely 45 km from Saint-Philippe, that the GiGrow system will be deployed for the first time in Quebec. This 24,000 square foot facility under construction will house 605 rotating gardens which, rain or shine, will produce nearly 4 million lettuces per year. And this, for the next 25 years, the lifespan of the system whose central bulb directed directly at the plants ensures photosynthesis.

In these times of climate change and COVID, there is growing interest in GiGrow. With food autonomy having become a more important issue than ever, this technology which ensures local production with a low carbon footprint is arriving at the right time. We can bet that before long the Dumont father and son business will be running at full speed. The plants just have to be careful!

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