Image source: EDP website/Sterling Suffolk Ltd
Sterling Suffolk Ltd have rapidly constructed their mega-greenhouse structure for rapid growing tomatoes. To grow crops quickly they will use hydroponic growing technology. The mega-greenhouse is the size of 11 football pitches, and is based near Ipswich on old farmland. The first tomatoes are expected to be picked in early 2019.
Who are Sterling Suffolk Ltd?
Hydroponics is a way of growing plants without the use of any soil. Plants are grown in a water based nutrient rich solution, and other inert materials are used instead of soil to support the growing root structure of any plant or crop. It is reported that growing plants with hydroponics uses 20 times less water, and also uses 20% less space. This improves crop yields, and is far more water efficient. Furthermore, plants grow more quickly, reportedly up to 50% faster than traditional crop growing methods.
Sterling Suffolk say this is only phase 1 of the project and hope to expand. The site will employ up to 50 people initially, more as it grows. Despite the size of this project, so far it is not the biggest glasshouse in the region, as British Sugar has an 18 hectare glasshouse.
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