Where we're from
YukonGrow was established in summer 2020 with the launch of an e-commerce website spurred by unprecedented demand from hobby gardeners as a result of COVID-19 and widespread (re)discovery of the benefits of gardening ‒food sovereignty, health, entertainment, therapeutics, community building, etc. This action built on a market validation exercise initiated as part of Yukonstruct Startup Bootcamp’s first cohort in fall 2019. It allowed the development of a budding clientele ‒mainly of Whitehorse-local hobby gardeners and market gardening operations, and early-stage market positioning as subject matter expert.
January 2021 to Spring 2022, YukonGrow participated in IncubateNorth, a business development program powered by TD at YukonU’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Building on the experience and momentum, YukonGrow developed in Spring 2021 a series of unique and high-yielding blends of living soil for gardening (Garden Mix, Raised Bed Mix, Basket & Container Gardening Mix) which were met with an exceptional reception. This was expanded in Winter 2022 with nursing blends (Seed Starting Mix, Seedling Transplant mix). A first retailer started offering YukonGrow's products in Spring 2021: Spruce Cottage Farm, a plant nursery situated in Haines Junction, YT. YukonGrow expanded into leasing yard space (approx. 1.5 ac) for storage and operations) over winter 2021-2022.
In May 2022, YukonGrow was selected to be part of Bioenterprise's AgTech Program, a business acceleration program for the agri-tech and food industry across Canada. In summer 2022, a series of research projects were initiated with NSERC and Fanshaw College's Centre for Research & Innovation to fine-tune and document the effectivity of YukonGrow blends of living soil. During the period September 2022 to February 2023 YukonGrow took part in Spring Activator's Investment Readiness Training, for instance to produce documents required to bring the company closer to being investment-ready, e.g. financial projections, market size information, and competitor analysis.
Where we're going
YukonGrow is continuously working on the development of new, specialized blends of living soils based on our staple inoculated + charged up biochar mixture and adapted to our grow conditions and practices up North. These include the following:
General Usage Blends
- YukonGrow Boost: our staple inoculated and charged up biochar mixture
- Potting Mix: a balanced, versatile mix that can work for the vast majority of indoors and outdoor plants, including most annuals and perennials
Commercial Horticulture Blends
- Intensive Greenhouse Mix (tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers)
- Nursery Mix (for production of ornamental seedlings)
- Silviculture Mix (for production of spruce, fir and pine seedlings)
- Soil-based Microgreens Mix: microgreens prefer a mix that is high in organic matter perhaps with some perlite (e.g. 80%-20%), sterile, and high in nutrients
- Propagation Mix (for cuttings)
- Cannabis Just-Add-Water Mix: our twist on a ''super soil''
- Base Cannabis Mix
- Commercial Cannabis Mix
- Tropical Plants Mix: most houseplants are tropical species that prefer a spongy, nutrient-rich mix
- Orchid Mix: orchids need an ultra-spongy, low-nutrient bark-based mix
- African Violet Mix: these grow best in well-drained, slightly acidic soils
- Succulent Mix: cacti and other species that hail from arid environments prefer a free-draining, low-nutrient mix
- Turf and Lawn/Grass Mix
- Flowerbed Mix
- Trees, Shrubs and Evergreens Mix (ornamental woody plants and fruit trees)
- Berry Bushes Mix (haskap, raspberries, blueberries, grapevines)
- Urban Trees Mix
Soil Engineering Blends
- Mine Tailings Reclamation Mix
- Constructed Wetland Mix
- Rain Garden Mix
- Green roof Mix
Others as needed/suggested
Scaling up requires the incremental building of our team, as well as acquisition of manufacturing, packaging and handling equipment, and space.
Meanwhile, we are developing partnerships to have our products retailed by third-parties such as big-box stores and garden centres throughout the Yukon and neighbouring communities.
Ultimately, this will bring us closer to replicating the process model beyond Yukon, for instance in markets with similar growing constraints such as NWT, as well as Alberta and BC and to producing our own base materials/ingredients (esp. biochar, perhaps worm castings) in the long run.