Tag Archives: vertical farming

First harvest from UK vertical farm

A new herb producer, based in Scunthorpe, expects to harvest its first crop within the next week according to reports.

Jones Food Company’s vertical farm is designed to produce 400 to 500 tonnes of crop each year including basil, chives, coriander and dill. It is based in a ‘secret’ warehouse near the Lincolnshire town and the crops are handled automatically by a robot known as Frank. In fact there are only four staff, none of whom actually touch the plants.

It’s claimed that the Scunthorpe facility includes more layers of production than other UK ‘vertical farms’ with a total production area of 5,120 sq. m and 7.6 miles of LED lighting, which have been supplied by GE Current and tested by company founder Dr Paul Challinor at his home. The first crop has reportedly already been sold to an anonymous buyer.

Malcolm Yare, horticulture business development manager for GE Current, said, “There’s nearly no human intervention during the whole production cycle. The lighting is at the heart of the system.”

Photo Credit: Jones Food Company

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First vertical farm in UK to be in Scotland

A £2.5 million investment by the James Hutton Institute and Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) means that the first vertical farm in the UK will be built near Invergowrie.

The high-tech facility will produce crops such as lettuce, baby leaf and micro-greens using technology such as hydroponics and LED lighting. It will feature automated towers and complex software which will take the cheapest electricity from the grid at times of surplus. Although some commentators have expressed doubts about the commercial viability of such facilities, the developers say that they expect production costs to fall quickly.

Henry Aykroyd, chief executive of IGS, said, “Our mission is to enable our customers to be the lowest cost producers by growing local globally, with better quality and saving natural resources. The process uses little water, no pesticides, can enhance taste and is consistent all year round.”

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

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GRODAN joins vertical farming association

Growing media company GRODAN has joined the Association for Vertical Farming, saying that the move will help it to play a part in safeguarding the strategic future of vertical farming and the development of this new high-tech horticultural sector.

“We should use the long established strengths of high-tech horticulture and apply them via customer driven innovation,” said Stuart Lambie, Sustainability Manager at GRODAN. “As the world faces some major challenges in the upcoming decades, sustainable food production is becoming more and more important. GRODAN wants to help tackle Global Challenges by developing high-tech solutions based on the principle of doing more with less, while always taking care for the wellbeing of people and environment.

“We believe that GRODAN can become a great partner for the Association for Vertical Farming in this quest. We believe that GRODAN can make a difference and contribute to our joint Global Challenges, helping food producers to save water and other resources whilst supplying increasing quantities of healthy, fresh produce to an increasingly urbanised global population.”

The new sector of controlled environment agriculture is still developing and GRODAN says it will work closely with the other members of the Association to perfect the technology that will work in particular situations. “Working with the Association for Vertical Farming, and its partners, to optimize this ground-breaking technology is going to be an exciting textbook lesson in collaboration and productivity,” continues Stuart. “We see a role in bringing more than 45 years of knowledge and experience in soilless cultivation at GRODAN together with other forces in the field of vertical farming from research. We look forward to deepening our partnership over years to come.”

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