New Zealand has a large focus on outdoor, pastoral farming. Is there a need for Vertical Farming? Some say yes, others say no. NZ has some unique features to it, including high levels of sunshine hours and generally good growing conditions. On VerticalFarming.com, benefits of the system for the NZ industry are discussed.
There aren’t many vertical farms around in NZ, but the ones that are around are trying to provide proof of concept.
NZ’s very first vertical farm had humble beginnings housed in a former nightclub. The company started its journey in 2018 growing tiny crops mainly for restaurants with some sold through large supermarket chains. Microgreens are intense flavoured first shoots and leaves and are a popular garnish for meals and cocktails.
It’s thought that microgreens can contain up to 100 times more nutrients than fully-grown plants.
The company got investment to install special LED grow lights which conserve around 45% in electricity over hydroponic lamps. The lights are customistables and can be adjusted to optimise the growth of specific varieties of microgreens. They don’t produce heat so vertical layers can be done with no fear of heat damaging plants.
In 2020 the business kicked off a first-of-its-kind system by launching an in-store growing stand complete with automated LED lighting and watering technology in a supermarket. The system allows customers to see the growing of the produce in real time and purchase.