In the heart of the pastoral region of northern Israel lies a new agricultural initiative that attempts to transform Herbal Farming by bringing it one step closer to the future, a fully automated basil-growing greenhouse with limited human intervention that extends the shelf life up to 20 days. “My goal, my agenda, and my vision are to plan for everything and leave nothing to chance,” states Tzahi Mordehay, co-owner of Genesis Herbs Ltd.
Tzahi Mordehay, co-owner of Genesis Herbs Ltd.
The farm has been operating for nearly 30 years with a single product in mind, basil. “Even though we can grow over 25 different varieties of herbs and numerous lettuce assortments, we have decided to concentrate and perfect basil cultivation so we could reach new record-breaking agronomical results,” says Mordehay.
“Genesis has developed an innovative method that automates the entire growing process from seeding to cutting under a single roof. Once the seeding process takes place onto rectangular beddings, the automated procedure begins. At this point in time, each bedding is monitored inside an isolated greenhouse by a computerized system that controls growing uniformity, fertilization distribution, irrigation levels, radiation intensities, humidity percentage, and even CO2 emittance measurements for optimal photosynthesis. As soon as the basil reaches maturity, a conveyor slides the beddings to an adjacent pack house for final cutting. The entire process is automated, under a single roof, within a controlled environment, and with minimal human interference,” explains Mordehay.
This particular process, according to Mordehay, allows the basil to maintain essential humidity in the post-harvest phase, diminish virus formations in the pre-harvest phase, and “eventually extends the shelf-life of the basil to 15 days and at times even 20 days from harvest.”
“We are not reliant or dependent on climatic conditions, and our growing technique resembles that of a leading fast food chain, where you will get the same quality product, same length, same texture, same color, and same taste every day of the year. Neither rain nor storm nor heat waves will keep our basil from reaching optimal maturity,” proclaimed an assured Mordehay.
He says aside from stability and consistency in supply, Genesis dedicates immense efforts to bringing to its clients the most optimal basil varieties. “The Genovese Family is well known for its sweetness, fine texture, and near fibreless stems. Sub-varieties from the Genovese Family also offer high tolerance to fungi-related diseases. Our task is to match the right variety to forecasted conditions so our clients will enjoy the peace of mind of having a perfect product 365 days a year,” states Mordehay.
Recent climatic and global challenges has introduced new challenges to the agriculture industry. Unlike in previous years, consumers today have higher expectations from the product and far less tolerance to environmental factors that can negatively contribute to global warming.
“Therefore, it has become apparent that there is a need to successfully transform herbal agriculture. To do so in the most ideal manner, Genesis Herbs Ltd. has taken the initiative to develop sustainable agriculture that would make use of less pesticides, less chemicals, less waste, and incorporate recyclable and reusable raw materials.”
“It is important for us to offer the market the most suitable basil grown under the most optimal conditions, with both the environment and human factors being top on our priority list. We stand firm to meet any requirement and accreditation. Our product can be shipped to any corner of the world and is currently found in various major retailers, traders, and mega–packers in Holland and Germany, such as Van Vugt, Europe Retail Packing BV, and Herrman Gartenbau,” concludes Mordehay.