Adverse weather events in various parts of Italy are causing a shortage of lettuce, though the issue is not affecting the hydroponic cultivation of Ninfa, whose production is in full swing thanks to the stable conditions in polytunnels.
Ninfa packets ready to be sold
"We produce around 50-60thousand plants a day, so we are a leading player on a national level. The types are Trocadero, Gentile, Romana and Canasta. Demand is good, so we have the chance to promote our produce which, of course stands out from the rest," commented owner Gianluca Rossi.
Gianluca Rossi, owner of Valle Standiana
The fact that Ninfa stands out is due to the fact that it is grown on 10 hectares of floating systems located in the Ravenna province. Rossi watches with satisfaction the lettuce being conveyed to the packaging warehouse after being harvested by a small number of operators.
"The first two months were positive when it comes to both quality and volumes. Our system enables us to save up to 70% water and to reduce the number of treatments to a minimum, given the scarce incidence of root diseases. The low temperatures in May slowed down growth, but we have been harvesting at full speed for the past four weeks."
Valle Standiana, holder of the Ninfa brand, covers 13 hectares, 10 of which are made up of 132 tanks to grow lettuce. Thick nets cover everything to protect heads from the weather without creating a greenhouse effect or causing temperatures to increase too much in the summer.
Plantlets on the conveyor
Cultivation is carried out on floating panels certified to be in contact with food. The roots are submerged in water. Nutrients include the classic combination of N, K, and P elements and microelements. No weeding is needed, obviously. Integrated cultivation techniques are used for defense.