Desert from the dessert

Tonnes of fruit and vegetables are being grown in a greenhouse in the Australian outback despite the dry, barren conditions there.

The idea was originally devised by a German former banker and a London theatre lighting engineer who bought some land three hours from Adelaide and built a large scale greenhouse which they called Sundrop Farms.  They are now reproducing the set-up in Qatar and a new £8m, 20-acre greenhouse is planned that will be 40 times bigger than the current one.

They achieve the irrigation of the crops, which include tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, by desalinating sea water and use a huge motorised mirror to follow the sun to heat and cool the greenhouses, thereby saving fresh water and fossil fuels.  The result is a year-round supply of commercial quantities of cheaply grown, high quality, pesticide-free vegetables and the growing is all controlled by an App on the iPhone of Canadian grower, Dave Pratt.


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Author: Robert Smith