The Grugliasco facility is controlled through a computerised system that manages all cultivation phases from spraying to the regulation of temperature, humidity, acidity and alkalinity levels. Everything to guarantee a healthy natural environment where vegetables grow protected from weather events and diseases caused by parasites, bacteria or fungi.
Società agricola Alfa does not use pesticides, weed killers or fungicide treatments - there's no need for them with aeroponic cultivation, as plants do not grow in soil or water.
They are "suspended" with the roots uncovered in direct contact with air. They are periodically sprayed with water enriched with mineral nutrients. The solution that is not absorbed is collected in ducts and recirculated after being filtered, analysed, sterilised and reintegrated with the substances absorbed during the cycle. This in turn means no water is wasted (up to 90-95%) and no chemical fertiliser is used. What is more, thanks to the closed cycle, there is no pollution of groundwater and the environment.
Aeroponic cultivation covers 5,000 square metres with a covered cultivable area of 2,500 metres with a continuous cycle.
As Gaetano Verdoliva, developed of the aroponic system, explains, "we've worked on this project for a year and we're very happy to have seen it come to life. Our grow rooms guarantee a production 10 to 20 times higher than traditional cultivation with high quality standards. This way, we can quickly meet the demand of clients looking for healthy food that has undergone no chemical treatment. Our next objective will be to create a range of nutraceutical food, i.e. that favours the psycho-physical well-being of consumers."
Technical characteristics of greenhouses
Greenhouses are Dutch of the Venlo type and are made of iron, glass and aluminium. Ducts are located on mobile boards so as to optimise space. A computerised system monitors all parameters and automation, while a cooling/heating system maintains temperature and humidity levels constant.
Aeroponic VS traditional cultivation
Plants grow better than with traditional systems because they are put in a condition to express their full potential. Continuous cycles deseasonalise the production cycle.
Aeroponic cultivation reduces water consumption up to 95% (in Italy, it takes 200 litres of water to produce one kg of tomatoes. With the aeroponic method, it only takes 6-10 litres).
Aeroponic cultivation does not pollute groundwater or the environment thanks to the "closed cycle" system. Transplant and crop change times are very quick and production is fully mechanised.
In addition to being a highly-innovative production system, aeroponic cultivation provides the chance to use disadvantaged areas, cultivate in areas with difficult climate conditions and overcome problems due to decreased soil fertility.
Aeroponic cultivation reduces the need for pesticides and parasite treatments, safeguards the environment and produces perfect natural products.
Aeroponic vs hydroponic
Unlike with hydroponic cultivation, plants are not submerged in nutritional substances but are suspended in an environment that is periodically sprayed. This means air has a better impact on plant development, making it possible to save substances and water and prevent the development of an environment suitable for the spreading of mould and potential viruses.
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