Project: AVÉ farm build


Design and build an efficient and reliable hydroponic system for growing a variety if leafy greens and fine herbs for AVÉ

AVÉ is a small vertical farming company that I founded in Montreal in 2020 with a mission to grow and distribute fresh, pesticide-free vegetables in an ecologically responsible manner year round. 



· Researched existing vertical hydroponic growing systems and Identified advantages and disadvantages of different design choices

· Decided on a ZipGrow style tower farm after having run a small test system I built for my apartment with positive results. Additionally, it was the perfect height for the space and its accessible vertical faces made plant care, monitoring and maintenance easy in such a small space (500sqft).

· Procured used ZipGrow towers and built all other infrastructure myself (racks, lighting fixtures, hydroponic infrastructure, etc.)

Skills developed:

· Practiced first principles thinking to make design choices that optimize plant growth

· Worked on the industrial design of the farm and its safe and reliable implementation through mechanic engineering considerations

· Understood and accounted for the fluid dynamics of plumbing and airflow as well as the electrical and latent heat considerations related to LED lighting

· Used system design software to map the flow of water, energy, and organic matter through the farm

· Created a simple control system that was remotely programmable from my phone by leveraging IOT switches and sensor


· Constructed and assembled all components and sub-assemblies and part using a variety of materials and tools

· Calibrated the light spectrum, PPFD, and photoperiod for growth, efficiency, and monitoring of plants

· Operated the grow system making improvements on core components and dialing in the nutrient recipe for ideal EC and pH.

· Developed a seeding, transplanting, and harvest scheduling regime for farm operations

· Built in redundancy and automated fail safes to mitigate and reduce the severity of possible system failure cases


· A performant and reliable vertical farming system capable of producing a wide variety of leafy greens and fine herbs

· A mobile platform and removable towers made for easy access for plant care, monitoring, cleaning, and maintenance. Thus reducing labour costs significantly

· Abundant Yields, great flavors and happy customers

· Reduced CAPEX from ~100,000$ (for an equivalent ZipGrow farm) to ~20,000$.

Amazing Team

While I built the farm, none of this would have been possible without the support and hard work of Paola and Gabe <3