Innovation That Matters

Giel and his partner were able to make 22 jars of pesto with their homegrown basil | Photo source Rob Pumphrey on Unsplash

Craftsman delivers sustainable vertical gardens to balconies in Toronto


Unlike many vertical gardens on the market, Made by Mikey’s gardens are coated with nutrient-rich beeswax and made from Canadian spruce and pine, sourced from local businesses

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Spotted: The owner of Made by Mikey, actor Michael Giel, is providing Torontonians with vertical gardens small enough to sit on condo balconies, which are also deep enough to grow any herb or edible flower you want. 

Unlike most vertical gardens which are stained with unhealthy materials such as Minwax or petroleum-based colours, Giel coats his gardens with nutrient-rich beeswax from an apiary in Orangeville and tries to source Canadian spruce and pine from local businesses.

The vertical gardens are 40 inches high, 26 inches wide and have three self-draining compartments that allow plants to root down to seven inches. Whilst they are not deep enough to accommodate taproot systems such as tomato plants, they provide plenty of room for oregano, arugula, chives and most peppers to sprout. 

Over one summer, Giel and his partner were able to make 22 jars of pesto with their homegrown basil. 

Giel has been selling his vertical gardens for the past three years, but he has only started advertising them online now. He says that so far the response has been pretty overwhelming: “I think people have realized en masse that food sovereignty is really important and people see the value of growing their own food.”

Pre-orders and deposits are now in operation, costing the equivalent of €42 for the gardens. Paid in full, they cost €107 and it’s an extra €21 for delivery anywhere in the Toronto area. 

Written By: Katrina Lane

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