So here we are, nearly a month since the arrival of the first-in-Cyprus, high-tech indoor hydroponics Farm-in-a-Box!! These first few weeks have been a challenging learning curve; small things that we have had to deal with to get the Farm up and running have been resolved. We are learning and challenging our brains to calculate and strategize many things at once. I have to say, it's exciting. We have become scientists, constantly monitoring our Farmhand® app, making adjustments to the various inputs; the latest technology being applied to man’s oldest profession. The app allows us to interact with a knowledge base that helps with every single possible aspect of commercial production, and maintenance of our farm. The other day our pH sensor had a relapse and was showing us a nil reading, of course we panicked , but we went on to the Farmhand® database and watched a step by step short video on how to solve the problem, it was brilliant.
So now I'm a little less on Facebook (I am ashamed to say) and a lot on viewing the systems videos on 'how to...’ Our focus is now on achieving and maintaining a sustainable farm which operates efficiently, and produces great tasting CLEAN food; Fresher, healthier and tastier. I am pleased to say, that the water the LGM uses is an incredible 95% less than ordinary farmers would use with the equivalent amount of crops. The water gets filtered and recycled constantly. Very little wastage!
For Herbanleaf Farms, growing the seed to harvest, allows for greater control over the food supply, and provides a clear story of exactly how our produce is grown. We at Herbanleaf only use essential natural nutrients and Non-GMO seeds to ensure CLEAN and FRESH produce. No need to wash. We set our parameters and receive notifications about our in-farm systems performance regularly. Climate tracking, surveillance and data logging makes food safety and transparency an absolute pleasure!
Right now, half of our 256 growing towers are filled with a variety of transplanted seedlings. Every week we sow some more seeds and leave to germinate for about a week, once the Cotyledons (the first two leaves) emerge the tray gets moved up on to the next stage and they are put into a water trough section, which periodically gets its nutrients, water and lights throughout the day.
In Parekklisia where our farm is, there are many other hard working farmers planting their lettuces & crops. Out of curiosity we decided to see how we compare, and test to see who will be the first to harvest. By coincidence, one of the farmers planted his seedlings into the open field the same day that we sowed our first seeds,on the 03/12/2017. He had a 4-5 week start on us. Who’ll harvest first? Time will tell. Controlled environment high-tech hydroponics (with a handicap of 5 weeks) vs soil farming, watch this space!