Fast Track Farming
The ‘recipe’ for greens are still under development. Microgreens have been grown successfully in 10 days, and gourmet lettuce varieties in 16-18 days. Both are grown without soil and can pass straight from the tray to packaging, without waste.
Note that this system cannot replace the variety of crops that can be grown in a greenhouse. The basic idea of a greenhouse is that plants are immobile, and while subjected to near homogenous light and moisture, their grow times have unlimited range. As such, plants that need 20 days to harvest can reside next to others that need 40 days. Humans (or robots) more around to harvest as required.
By contrast, plants on a Fast Track system are in motion, on a ride of fixed duration. Conditions such as light and water may change along the way, but everything exits at the end of the ride. This is ideal for producing large volumes of a single uniform crop (although, mix the seeds of different microgreens at the start, and you’ll be packaging a microgreen mix at the end).
Note also that the only plants suitable at present for fast tracking are those that can grow in shallow trays, absent any soil.
A key nemesis in any kind of indoor growing is mold. Any humid environment built to nurture plant growth is vulnerable to mold infestations. Note some key mitigation factors in our process:
- Growth conditions are maintained only in the hooded line, and not in the entire building.
- The plants are always on the move.
- The trip is done in 10-20 days.
- Trays are washed and sterilized after each use.