Upper Austria's first geothermal greenhouse is located in Geinberg. Since its completion in 2022, hand-picked organic vegetables have been harvested at BIOhof Geinberg without any additional burden on the environment, even in colder months. The organic tomatoes and organic sweet peppers are delivered to SPAR in Upper Austria. In the peak harvest months, the environmentally friendly grown vegetables are also available throughout Austria at SPAR, EUROSPAR, and INTERSPAR.
© Neumayr/Christian Leopold
From October 2020 to March 2022, the first geothermal greenhouse in Upper Austria was built in Geinberg with an investment of approximately 30 million euros. Cultivation in the climate-friendly greenhouse at BIOhof Geinberg makes it possible to bring organic tomatoes and organic pointed peppers to the shelves of SPAR, EUROSPAR, and INTERSPAR in the summer and as early as the beginning of March and until the end of November - in a climate-friendly manner and from the region.
"The sustainable energy concept, the longer availability of organic tomatoes and organic sweet peppers from Austria, the associated short delivery routes, and the added value in the region are topics that we value at SPAR, as a company rooted in Austria. I am all the more pleased about this forward-looking partnership at the Geinberg site," says SPAR CEO Markus Kaser, emphasizing the close and forward-looking cooperation between the two Perlinger family businesses and SPAR.
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Innovative, organic vegetable cultivation in the heart of Upper Austria
Many years of experience and expertise in vegetable cultivation are combined under the roof of a greenhouse heated with geothermal energy. Particularly noteworthy is the well-thought-out energy concept. A photovoltaic system generates the required own electricity, and the collection of rainwater enables a self-sufficient water supply. "At BIOhof Geinberg, we attach great importance to healthy and tasty products, which also reflects our high-quality standards. Healthy soil is the basic prerequisite for healthy plant growth and good fruit," BIOhof managing director Patrick Haider explains.
Geothermal energy provides heating for the greenhouse
The BIOhof Geinberg uses the existing geothermal source for the heat supply of the greenhouse. This takes water with a temperature of about 100 degrees from a depth of about 2000 meters. The cycle is then closed by reinjecting the deheated water to the extraction depth. This recirculation ensures the sustainable safeguarding of geothermal energy as a resource. Heating by geothermal energy enables the saving of CO2.
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Working with natural farming methods
Along with climate change, loss of diversity is one of the most critical global environmental threats. SPAR initiated the project "Saving Diversity Together" in 2021, with a focus on bee protection, the expansion of variety, and the expansion of organic offerings. The aim is to preserve biodiversity and thus also a broad, unique, diverse, and regional food range of exceptional specialties.
At BIOhof Geinberg, too, we are mindful of nature and the environment: "We use organic fertilizers, and pest control in the greenhouse is carried out exclusively by beneficial insects. Pollination is carried out by bumblebees. Plant waste at the end of a cultivation cycle is composted and reintroduced into the new crop as valuable compost. This results in a wonderful circular economy," says managing director Patrick Haider about the philosophy and lived practice at BIOhof Geinberg.
Organic tomatoes and organic sweet peppers at SPAR
Increased awareness of healthy eating, sustainability, and the environment among the Austrian population is boosting demand for fruit and vegetables, especially organic products. Whatever the time of year, the organic range at SPAR enjoys great popularity. SPAR is therefore committed to continuously expanding its organic range and sourcing fruit and vegetables from Austria wherever and whenever possible. Good cooperation with modern farms, such as the BIOhof Geinberg in Upper Austria, is essential for these demands.
"We are very proud that we can now fulfill our customers' desire for regional organic vegetables from spring to fall with the organic tomatoes and organic sweet peppers from Geinberg," says Jakob Leitner, Managing Director of the SPAR head office in Marchtrenk.