More investment in vertical farming technology
11 June 2019 by Ellen Petersen
Ocado is planning to grow herbs together with leafy greens next to its distribution centres; and have already made two significant investments in indoor farming. The first investment is a joint venture with 80 Acres, a US vertical farm business; as well as a second investment with Priva, a Dutch firm that provides climate-control technology. Ocado has also bought a stake in vertical farming pioneer, Jones Food in Scunthorpe.
For those who don’t know, Jones Food runs an amazing 5,000 meters of vertical, indoor growing space. And because the space it lit by miles of LED lights, it can produce crops all year round. The idea is this controlled environment helps save energy and water with focus on sustainability; as well as a reduction in food waste. And, you get good quality results every time.
There are lots of innovative farmers out there who are trialling this method of vertical farming; including in an urban environment, where space is at a premium.
Interestingly, the model of indoor farming includes:
- Hydroponics. Basins of nutrient-rich water are used to grow plants.
- Aeroponics. Roots of a particular crop are periodically sprayed with a mist containing nutrient-rich water; and,
- Aquaponics. Fish help cultivate bacteria which is then used for plant nutrients.
As an example method of growing plants using indoor farming, hydroponics uses water that is recycled after it’s evaporated from the plant; and then recaptured from humid air. UV light is also used to prevent plant disease(s) from spreading.
UV lights is used to help prevent disease from spreading across the plants.
From Farm to Kitchen within One Hour
Ocado’s chief executive Tim Steiner said he wanted vegetables grown in this way; as they can be delivered to kitchens within an hour of being picked. This is perhaps not as wild an idea as someone would think. It is apparently possible to grow practically anything in this way; although it’s more cost-effective to produce quicker-growing crops that yield a high market value. For example, strawberries, herbs, baby veg, salad leaves, and even edible flowers fetch more per kilogram than certain root vegetables.
Fisher Jones Greenwood have Commercial experts who can help you with land as well as farming contracts, call 01206 700113 or email [email protected].
Source: BBC News 11 June 2019
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