In a field on the outskirts of Laval in Québec, one encounters an unexpected sight for farm land: a dozen or so containers. They are not abandoned, but rather represent a new concept in organic and responsible urban agriculture. La Boîte Maraîchère gives new life to such containers: these “vegetable boxes” become vegetable production facilities equipped with a state-of-the-art automated hydroponic production system.
In seeking the RIGHT light for their pesticide and GMO free production, La Boîte Maraîchère team evaluated 64 suppliers and over 15 different light varieties to install in their containers. After testing conducted over a four-year period, they recommend Sollum Technologies’ programmable smart lighting solution because it Reproduces the complete dynamic spectrum of the natural light cycle.
Their primary criterion, in addition to energy consumption and productivity, is light quality. In other words, the light fixture’s capacity to produce a natural spectrum in a controlled environment.
The results obtained from a variety of plants including basil, coriander, chives, strawberries, lettuce, mint and tomatoes cultivated in a grow room demonstrated:
“Making the right investment in lighting is crucial. In effect, the light produced by Sollum Technologies’ smart lighting system shows no degradation in results and enables us to obtain abundant, quality and surprising harvests.” explains company co-founder Julien Loiseau. “For example, we tested coriander seedlings and, in addition to the impact on the speed of the growth cycle, our biggest surprise was their taste: a hint of lemongrass titillating our taste buds.” he added.
The partnership between Sollum Technologies and la Boîte Maraîchère is ongoing with a study of strawberry production underway. The results are promising, indicating Brix measurements ranging from 11 to 13.
Other opportunities are on the horizon thanks to la Boîte Maraîchère’s collaborations with the Canadian Space Agency as well as NASA. Their active interest in this method of production suggests possibilities for cultivating vegetables on the Moon and maybe even Mars.
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