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A greenhouse to produce vegetables in Tierra del Fuego
A project of the Southern Scientific Research Centre (CADIC), a body under the CONICET, has made it possible to develop, after three years of testing, a greenhouse structure capable of withstanding winds of up to 150 km/h, as well as over one metre of snowfall. These greenhouses are suitable for the production of vegetables and flowers in Tierra del Fuego.
"The facilities were built in the form of a tunnel, each covering an area of 120 square metres. The walls and roof are made of high strength nylon to withstand the local wind and to insulate the crops from the cold outside. Inside, the temperature is kept between 5 and 30 ºC. One of the main challenges was to obtain resistant, low maintenance and economically viable structures for local producers. "Both the nylon and the metals used in the structure are manufactured in Tierra del Fuego; also, labourers were trained in the construction and assembly of the structures," as reported in www.boletinagrario.com.
The greenhouses aim to counteract the impact of the few hours of winter sunshine that hinder the process of photosynthesis.
Gustavo Vater, responsible for the optimization of the project, said that "working with seeds of local origin is making it possible to produce fresh vegetables in a province where so far 95 percent of these products have had to be imported from places, often more than 3 thousand kilometres away."
During the experiment, good results were obtained in species such as lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cherry and plum tomatoes, chicory, peas and beans. They have also worked with aromatic species, such as basil, oregano, cilantro, sage, parsley, ciboulette and dill.
The greenhouse has also served to conducts tests with floral bulb species and fruit trees, such as berries; the aim was to obtain plants with greater suitability to local geographical conditions.
Jorge Rabassa, director of the CADIC, stated that "this is an important step towards an improvement in the quality of life of our community, as it opens the doors to start producing fresh vegetables, which are currently almost non-existent and essential in a good diet. The goal is to fully supply the local market in the future."
Publication date: 8/11/2017
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