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At Just Vertical, our goal is not to sell an AEVA. Our goal is to encourage thinking about environmental sustainability in a personal and healthy way. The AEVA is just one method to have a positive impact but it only works if it you can use it. This week I sat down with Co-Founder Kevin Jakiela to discuss some of the testing we do to ensure that you can get what we promise from the AEVA. Q: How did Just Vertical decide on the design and functional processes of the AEVA? A: Each component is selected via two dimensions. The first is that healthy plants require a certain amount of space, light, etc. so we pick materials that will ensure optimal growth. The second is reliability. For example, the lighting unit found on the AEVA is rated for 55 thousand hours or just over 6 years of continuous lighting. In addition, because different plants have preferences for which wavelength of light (colours) for optimal growing conditions, our light is a full spectrum light. While it may not be the best light for a particular plant, it gives customers a good option to grow a wide variety of different plants in their units at the same time. Q: You make some lofty promises for how much can be grown in an AEVA. How can you be sure? A: Testing, testing, testing (with different varieties of plants at the same time). Growing plants is often dependent on the level of attention a grower gives to them. However, we designed the AEVA to be as simple as possible for people without a green thumb. We do research with two mindsets. The first is leveraging our plant science expertise to identify different environmental parameters and the growth of plants under various conditions. The second is to follow our instruction manual exactly to see what AEVA owners can expect. For both conditions we can keep track of the time it takes for plants to reach a harvestable stage as well as the mass of the produce we harvest. Q: You have multiple AEVA’s at home for testing purposes, what have you found the most rewarding and most challenging when it comes to growing in the AEVA. A: For me, its been exciting to watch how fast plants grow in our units, especially basil. I have plants in planters on the balcony during the growing season and seeing how much faster plants grow in the AEVA is a treat. The most challenging thing I have found is trying to match growing different kinds of plants in one AEVA unit. Very few customers purchase an AEVA to grow only one type of plant. But each plant has different requirements for optimal growth and finding a happy medium that works best for our customers is a constant learning opportunity for us, and is the main focus of our plant growing R&D. Q: What kinds of things are you looking for when you are testing growth from a customer’s perspective and not in a lab? A: All we are really looking for is how long it takes for the plants to reach a harvest stage and how much produce a customer can get. We do this to ensure that our instructions have the most up-to-date information for optimal growth. Because we also grow these plants in our own AEVA’s, it helps us mimic the customers experience so that it is easier to troubleshoot any problems that may arise for a customer. Q: You talked a little about leverage the plant knowledge expertise in your research. Can you speak a little more to that? A: With more research-oriented goals, we can look to track and control the environmental conditions so that we can really understand what optimal conditions may be. For example, we can track TDS (Total dissolved solids) and pH of the water basin before and after adding nutrients which give us an idea of the electroconductivity and alkalinity of the water tank, respectively. We can try and test differing watering and light cycles. The new EVE units will arrive with a dimmer switch so we will able to adjust the intensity of the lighting as well. We can also monitor humidity, CO2, air temperature and other parameters to best understand and control our growing conditions (in lab settings for optimized “at-home” growing). When building a commercial hydroponic farm, we would try to identify very specific numbers, but recreational growing differs greatly from home to home. We test all the things we can control (like lighting) and monitor all the things we can’t (like environmental conditions). Taken together, we can be confident that the AEVA can be a solution for a wide array of homes.

SARS-CoV2, the cause of COVID-19, has spread across the world at a blistering pace, changing how we live our lives. However, the pandemic was not just left to scientists and doctors to solve. Everyone had to pitch in. From wearing masks, staggering unemployment, and working from home; “the new normal” defined our lives for the past 8 months and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. This pandemic has forced everyone to change how they live their lives and Just Vertical is no exception. At Just Vertical, COVID-19 presented challenges for how we wanted to interact with customers and how we operated. Our co-founders focused on how the teams could WFH as much as possible. Everyone looked for opportunities to normalize their schedules whether it was adjusting fitness routines or taking up new hobbies. However, one area that the pandemic hit very hard was our desire to build partnerships in the community. Operation and Sales Lead Patrick Ladly-Fredeen was exploring a wide range of partnerships that included schools and restaurants which were shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to build these partnerships because we want growing your own food to be a common experience and not a niche one. A key goal for Just Vertical is to educate people and children to understand the benefits of growing their own foods. We wanted to introduce growing food at home to children at a young age so they could understand the benefits. First, we initially considered a wide array of hands-on projects to help teachers plan lessons, but the pandemic made this an impossibility. Instead, Patrick built education plans for grade 1 and grade 3 students that could be done virtually. Second, no one was immune from the pressures of having kids not going to school and we wanted to help parents supplement their children’s activities in a fun and educational way. We distributed almost 500 seed packs to parents for free so that they could try germination experiments with their kids. We thought this would alleviate some of the pressures from parents and help teach the new generation more about how to grow plants. Ultimately, we want everyone to begin thinking about growing their own food at home. The first step is to help people understand how to grow and what the benefits are. Despite the pandemic, we hope that you are all staying safe and are finding new ways adjust to the new normal.

The EVE is built for the modern person on the move. Sleek, compact, mobile, and fast-growing. It has it all from the art-inspired looks to the science-backed growing method. We made this specifically for you. For you, the person with an active lifestyle The EVE germinates and grows 12 plants fast, use the EVE to grow quickly and harvest quickly to fit your fast-moving lifestyle. The EVE fits into any living space We create products that make growing accessible for any home. At only 18.5" wide it fits in corners, it works as a standalone piece on a wall, or as a great accent. It is easily carried by one person weighing only 35 lbs making it a piece that can travel with you wherever you choose to live. Made for your urban lifestyle The EVE is made for an urban lifestyle. It fits in small spaces taking up less than 2 square feet and has dimmable lights that have a sunset and sunrise function meaning that it could act as an alarm clock in your bedroom! The EVE is made for all ages and all incomes EVE has luxury looks without the luxury price tag. Get the same impressive solid Canadian wood build for only $599, a fraction of the price usually paid for artisanal goods like this.   Ready to get your EVE? SHOP NOW Do you have specific questions about EVE? CONTACT US NOW

Calling it “vertical hydroponic gardening” makes this type of gardening seem complicated and difficult, right? The truth is that vertical hydroponic gardening, especially using the AEVA is super easy.

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