MAK­ING LIGHT WORK

KOPPERT CRESS GREEN­HOUSE, NETHER­LANDS

Focus-Science and Technology - - FUTURE FARMING -

Un­der the neon pink glow of hun­dreds of LED lights, work­ers at the Koppert green­house in the Nether­lands tend to their mi­cro-veg­eta­bles. While the light­ing may sug­gest they’ve been sucked into a 1980s videogame – like Tron but with more cress – it’s ac­tu­ally a cost-sav­ing mea­sure. A com­bi­na­tion of red and blue light is cheaper to run than the nor­mal colour and the mi­cro-veg don’t mind it.

Cov­er­ing 10 hectares, Koppert’s range in­cludes 33 va­ri­eties of cress, wheat grass, ed­i­ble flow­ers and other in­door crops, which are shipped all over the world. The lat­est ad­di­tion is sweet lov, young maize that is eaten as a crunchy, newly ger­mi­nated corn ker­nel. Like the cress, sweet lov can be grown with­out soil, on a wet felt pad, and sold as a liv­ing crop.

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