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Thai luxury hotel farms its own food, partially using hydroponic set-up

At the Conrad Koh Samui, there is more to the food than the mass-procured fare typically served by a large hotel group. While the five-star resort located on this idyllic Thai island does not describe itself as a farm-to-table destination, it has – during the pandemic years – transformed into a culinary outlier in the world of hospitality. 

It is home to a sprawling 8,000 sq m (1.8-acre) farm, which produces some 1,300kg (2,866lbs) of fruit and vegetables, as well as 6,000 chicken eggs and 4,500 duck eggs every month for the resort’s restaurants and bars. 

Despite the farm’s lush appearance, it has been a laborious process of trial and error, says Gabino. Despite their best efforts, some plants such as strawberries and grapes have not taken to the soil. They are currently working on avocado trees but it is likely to be about three years before they will bear fruit.

On the resort grounds, there is also Botanikka Eco Cafe, which was converted from an unused villa. It houses a hydroponics system to grow vegetables including lettuce, coriander and spring onion in water-based mineral solutions, and a mushroom farm that produces impressive amounts of fungi for use in Asian and Western dishes. 

Ultimately, says Gabino, the goal is to achieve better quality products for guests. “Being self-sufficient and compounding our current assets has been vital for us,” he says. “We know exactly where and how our fruits and vegetables are produced, and we can promise high-quality throughout … “There is a special joy in taking care of your own food supply. Not just by purchasing a product but living the entire process from planting the seed to the final dish.”

Read the entire article at South China Morning Post

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