Kent's VF grows salad and tomatoes year-round

Kent's VF grows salad and tomatoes year-round

Last month, the shelves of supermarkets were stripped bare after supplies of fruit and vegetables ran low. Poor harvests and bad weather in Southern Europe and North Africa were blamed. But, can traditional summer crops, like salad and tomatoes, be grown in Britain all year round?

 In East Kent they can, in a new £100 million pound vertical farm that started operating this spring.

Whatever the weather, salad is produced from seed on an industrial scale with strict controls on light and moisture. It's the first purpose built facility for the company that Kate Hofman co-founded a decade ago.

Kate said: "What we're doing is producing leafy salads all year round and the difference from what we're doing is that's all taking place inside a controlled, growing environment.

It starts with seed sown in trays which are taken to a dark and misty germination area and then into the growing chamber.

Kate said: "The growing chamber is what people think of when they think of a vertical farm. It's lots of layers of benches growing on top of each other and each layer has its own lighting provided by LEDs and its own nutrients provided in an irrigation system.

"We're also controlling all parts of the air in there. So the climate, the temperature, the humidity and, by doing that, we're creating the perfect conditions for those plants all the way through their growth cycle.

Continiue reading.

Photo: Screenshot from ITV News video




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