Hawke’s Bay cropper, sheep and beef farmer Hugh Ritchie has used some regular ingenuity alongside European tech to recycle vast amounts of water in his mobile, post-harvest carrot washing operation.
Previously, after harvesting his carrots, Hugh would ship truckloads of carrots to a plant in Hastings where they would get washed. From there, the carrots would be shipped to McCain’s processing plant and the sediment that came off in the washing process was trucked back to the farm to be put back on the paddock.
Now, using high tech equipment from the Netherlands, including a water recycling unit, a modified 40-foot shipping container for water storage as well as an old potato tumbler from McCain’s, Hugh retains the majority of water used during the washing process. He also siphons off the dirt sediment into ponds to be reapplied to the paddock once any water has drained away.
The washer could be fed with new water that then runs off, or as Hugh has done, recycled to use throughout the harvest.