Kevin grew up in a family of green thumbs
His father even taught horticulture at a local university. Kevin, however, was more interested in the extremes that nature had to offer. Over his life, he’s worked as a rock climbing guide, a skydiving photographer, a paragliding coach, and even a stuntman. It wasn’t until Kevin visited a friend in Humboldt County, in California, where cannabis was regulated and full legalization already on its way, that he realized his true calling was the future of vertical farming.
Thus began a decade of building small-scale grow operations, both indoor and outdoor. At first, he experimented with vertical farming as a concept, but it was not much more than tubes and wall-mounted planters. When it was time to dream bigger, he hired one of the biggest names in high-density racking systems to help bring his dreams to life.
What would eventually become The Grove would be Montel’s first vertical farming project.
Kevin and Montel were a match made in heaven. His expertise in horticulture informed Montel’s engineering, and the strength and intelligence of Montel’s engineering team helped Kevin realize his vision of what a vertical farm should be. Together, Kevin’s team and Montel installed twenty-nine powered mobile racking carriages across four rooms, complete with water reservoirs, fans for ventilations, fuse boxes, and other mounted equipment.
“When The Grove opened it became a highlight of the cannabis industry,” Kevin says, “and people were intrigued by this new way of growing indoors with a vertical farming method.”
Not to brag, but Kevin is and has always been a fan of Montel, long before we brought him aboard.
“I’ve always enjoyed working alongside the Montel team. And Montel’s welders are definitely more skilled in their craft than what I have seen on the market.”
After completing The Grove, Kevin was approached by a company with an ambitious goal stuck in production purgatory: to build, at the time, the largest cannabis cultivation facility in the US. The plans called for two cultivation buildings, each 76,000 square feet, and a full machine shop on site, all of which would feed three dispensaries. Kevin saw this consulting gig as a way to try out a handful of design tweaks he had been wanting to make on the equipment at The Grove.
“This became a huge learning opportunity for me,” Kevin said.
It wasn’t long after that we asked Kevin to join the team.
Kevin’s drive to constantly improve vertical farming operations and equipment is a philosophy he shares with the engineers at Montel; it’s a commitment to never stop adapting. Like us, he always has one eye on the vertical farming landscape and the other on how to improve even the best hardware on the market.
Since our first vertical farming installation with Kevin, Montel has developed so many different models of indoor vertical farming systems tailored specifically for cannabis, microgreens, and more. We’ve come a long way, and the sky’s the limit on what we can achieve with experts like Kevin.
“The constant attention to perfecting a product is something that Montel seems to have dialed into,” Kevin says, “and it speaks volumes into what makes Montel such a forward-thinking company.”