Using automatic greenhouses to protect against climate change

Using automatic greenhouses to protect against climate change

When was the last time you visited your local supermarket and managed to get every bit of fresh fruit and veg that was on your list? We have seen many news articles this week regarding the bare shelves in supermarkets across the country, largely caused by supply shortages.

A grocery expert has warned that the disruption is set to last a few weeks, with some stores limiting customers to three packs of fruit and veg. Farmers have been forced to switch off greenhouses in a bid to save money where they can, with extreme weather conditions in Europe such as cold temperatures and flooding wreaking havoc on the food supply chains.

As climate change continues to cause unpredictable changes, it has become more important than ever to be efficient when producing food. Sheltered, climate controlled mini-ecosystems like our S-Series Mini Greenhouse range mean that plants can be grown all year round from your own home – bypassing traditional supply chains.

We welcome the news that greenhouses and vertical farming units are becoming increasingly popular in the UK. They are a great way of reducing your carbon footprint, water, energy, food and packaging waste. Despite this, did you know the UK produces just 54% of its vegetables, and a measly 16% of its fruit, with the rest being imported?

Controlled environment agriculture (CEA) isn’t new, but the evidence supporting it keeps growing. A Japanese study analysing the efficiency of vertical farms [1] found that they used 40% less energy, created 80% less food waste, and needed 99% less water than typical farms.

The secret to CEA efficiency comes from a combination of new and emerging technologies, plus refined techniques that have been used for thousands of years. In these farms, grow lights can determine how much light a plant gets throughout the day, helping to expand the natural daylight hours. Another aspect of efficiency is how little water they waste. Since the plants are growing in an enclosed space, there is no fear of the water evaporating into the atmosphere or draining away into unproductive land nearby.

Now, if only we knew of a Made in Britain accredited brand that offered these efficiency techniques in their products…

Harvst’s Smart Mini Greenhouses come with a range of features such as:

·  automatic ventilation

·  automatic watering

·  heating

·  lighting

We know that climate change can cause more extreme weather events, but a Harvst greenhouse with automatic watering, lighting, heating and ventilation offers protection against the elements. If the temperature dips below what’s forecast, not to worry. If it pours with rain for days on end, it’s not a concern. If cloud cover darkens the skies for what seems like weeks, it’s no problem at all.

Even without the weather concerns, with less space needed to grow more food, vertical farming brings benefits to the environment with less natural resource use. It saves a lot of space and can offer you a bountiful harvest. 

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits.

Grow anywhere

Small outdoor space with no room to grow? No problem. One of the biggest benefits of this type of farming is that you can grow in places you would never normally be able to such as balconies or roof terraces!

Easy maintenance

Weeds are much less of an issue with vertical growing. In fact, they’re almost non-existent, especially in a Sprout mini greenhouse.

Sun, sun, sun!

Do you have that one perfect spot in your garden that’s small, but a sun-trap? You can make that space even more special by using a mini-greenhouse to make the most of the space and the natural light.

Disease & pest prevention

Soilborne funguses and diseases spread much less easily when growing vertically, plus there is less risk of rotting. Ground dwelling pests are kept out, too! They can’t get to you if you’re not on the ground and in a contained environment. Sprout’s automatic ventilation ensures that there’s great ventilation for your plants, helping to prevent disease.

Bigger and more reliable harvests

With more space comes more food, and in the current economy, what’s better than that?

Take a look at our Mini Greenhouse range today, and never have a fresh food shortage again.  

Sources

  1. Kohlstedt, K. 2015. “World’s Largest Indoor Farm is 100 Times More Productive.”