Ditto

This interview details Ditto, an indoor farming company based in the United States. The interview is with Derek Drake, CEO of Ditto.

Source: Ditto

What is the origin story of Ditto?

Ditto started after Derek lost his job at Northwestern during the pandemic. The name itself comes from the idea of reciprocity. Ditto is an agreement. 

Source: Ditto

What are some of the biggest challenges facing Ditto in the future?

Our biggest challenge is, quite frankly, time. We both have full-time day jobs, 4 kids, 22 chickens, and a big life. Finding the time to tend to the business is critical. We have the customers, thankfully. Running a small business is a beast. 

What is unique about Ditto compared to competitors?

The difference is, in my opinion, intent. We want to bring access to communities that people are not investing in. Communities like the one I grew up in of Ford Heights. Also, we are focused on building out a food system where it is most needed. 

Source: Ditto

What is the current size of your growing area?

In 320 sqft, we grow 3 acres of leafy greens, lettuce, herbs, and root veggies. 

Do you use CO2 in your operation today -- if so, how much and what do you pay for it? What are your thoughts in CO2 usage in indoor farms?

We do. We use a 20lb canister that lasts about 2-3 weeks. I don't think it's necessary but it is helpful. When I spend a lot of time on the farm I reduce the amount of CO2 being pumped into the farm. 

Source: Ditto

Energy is a big topic in indoor farming right now. How much do you pay for electricity (kWh)? Is it mainly from the grid or renewables?

That is probably one of the biggest areas of opportunity for us. Fortunately, our farm has 3 modes that we can choose from. We have an eco mode, standard, and high-performance mode. Of course, Eco keeps the costs low. We use that mode when we are either in full bloom or right at the beginning of germinating. Performance is when we are trying to make a quick turnaround. Typically we operate in Standard. Our cost is around 14-16 cents per kWh.

How can people connect with you or learn more about Ditto?

Follow us on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, or visit our website. We also love old-fashioned phone calls.

Source: Ditto

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