“Our experience has been that people are opening up more towards vertical farming. We haven’t had anyone say that it’s stupid to grow indoors, and we’ve been contacted by various people that are interested in building a farm with our help,” says Dr. Gernot Kleinberger, co-founder of the Munich-based vertical farm MingaGreens.
The three founders of MingaGreens, with Gernot Kleinberger pictured at the right
MingaGreens was founded during the pandemic when Gernot and co-founders Florian Göttl and Thomas Heller-Regenbogen decided to undertake a health and lifestyle project. With positive feedback from the community, MingaGreens was able to move its operations from the basement to a larger facility with 100 square meters divided into a germination room, a growing room, and a working space.
“The beauty and challenge of working in this new space is that the ceilings are 4.5 m high. It allows us to grow even higher, but it also comes with challenges,” says Gernot.
MingaGreens grows various microgreens which are sold to organic supermarkets as well as other niche markets, catering companies, restaurants, and large companies wanting to provide their employees with healthier food.
“Microgreens don’t have to travel thousands of kilometers to reach people’s tables. We’re also pursuing a model where we can either build more farms or help other people build farms under our brand to continue getting our produce to local markets,” says Gernot.
Sustainability at the heart of the business
Like most vertical farms, MingaGreens has placed sustainability at the core of its business and wants to be as environmentally responsible as possible.
“For our gastro customers, we are also pursuing a delivery model where we do not generate any packaging waste at all!” Another major step towards MingaGreens’ sustainability goal was becoming certified organic. The farm grows mainly on hemp mats, coco peat, and soil and uses only water and certified seed.
While the farm is not currently connected to renewable energy, that is in the company’s plans for the future. As Gernot notes, a lot of vertical farms are struggling with the high costs of energy, but research is continually improving the efficiency of technology, including lighting.
For more information: