Australian Fresh Leaf Herbs launches new greenhouse at Clyde
A NEW horticulture model on the outskirts of Melbourne, which uses cloud technology to tell employees when and what herbs to pack, will increase yields by about 75 per cent.
A new state-of-the-art greenhouse, funded by the Coles Nurture Fund, was launched yesterday by Clyde small business Australian Fresh Leaf Herbs as part of its new model for urban farming.
Sophisticated cloud technology, designed by Australian Fresh Leaf Herbs, has been installed in the greenhouse, with large screens mounted to tell employees exactly when and what herbs to plant, pick and pack.
Herbs will be grown on Dutch-designed rolling benches that can be pushed together to increase planting space, and also rolled into an adjoining shed so employees can harvest the herbs at the one location.
And a climate-controlled growing environment for plants means herbs can be grown locally all year round.
Australian Fresh Leaf Herbs co-founder Jan Vydra, who was awarded Australian Young Farmer of the Year in 2011, said it was the first time in Australia’s horticulture industry that a small business had introduced new cloud technology and rolling benches into a climate controlled greenhouse to grow herbs.
“Two years ago, I saw the rolling benches in action in Holland and decided the benefits for yields and productivity were so impressive, we should introduce them to our business in Clyde,” he said.
“The combination of the rolling benches, cloud technology and climate controlled greenhouse will increase our yields by 75 per cent by allowing us to increase annual yield from 350 bunches per square metre to more than 600 bunches.”
“By producing more herbs per square metre and bringing harvesting to one location, our overall cost of production will fall and our growing will become more streamlined.”