Good News for a Change: Successful Farming With Sunlight and Seawater 🎥

Today’s agricultural processes demand huge amounts of energy; a wasteful way to grow produce that often requires nasty chemicals and is affected by the impact of climate change eg. droughts using more groundwater for irrigation. The “old” agricultural methods are not sustainable for producers, consumers or for the planet. It is time to rethink!

In this blog we would like to introduce a farm in South Australia. Their innovative thinking and revolutionary growing methods is a “leading by example success story”. By using renewable inputs in the production of fresh fruits and vegetables, this company creates a benefit for the environment and restore the ecosystems, rather than depleting them and grows high quality product at the same time.


Sundrop Farms opened its first pilot facility in Port Augusta, South Australia, in 2010.

In 2015 they constructed a 20 hectare solar-powered greenhouse facility near its original site and Sundrop Farms opened the only facility of its kind in the world in 2016 using sunlight and seawater to grow tomatoes. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sundrop_Farms)


Sundrop Farms, South Australia - Wikimedia Commons

The facility uses more than 23,000 mirrors to capture sunlight and direct it to a central receiver at the top of a 127-metre "power" tower. All the water used for irrigating the crops is piped from the Spencer Gulf and converted into fresh water using a thermal desalination unit.

At its peak it produces 39 megawatts of thermal energy, which is used for electricity, heating and making water.


“Tomatoes watered by the sea: sprouting a new way of farming” - The Conversation (article see reference)

In this Sundrop Farms TV video (16:22) featured on ABC Landline Australia in October 2016 you will find detailed information about their development, practises and innovations.

This farm produces 15% of Australia's annual tomatoes using solar power and seawater. It uses zero fossil fuels, zero soil, zero pesticides, zero groundwater.


We have the solutions. Let's implement them.



Sundrop Farms statement:


“The mission: Growing the most delicious and natural fruit and vegetables that are:

  • Better for people: high quality produce, all year, in any climate

  • Better for the planet: circular, restorative processes using abundant renewable resources

  • Better for business: genuine long-term partnerships for profitable, predictable supply

Core beliefs: These provide a framework for our mission and guides every aspect of our business:

  • People are our most important asset, and we go out of our way to hire exceptional talent

  • Delicious, natural food is affordable

  • In scarcity, there is opportunity for abundance

  • Re-imagining agriculture requires creativity and a strong sense of entrepreneurship

  • Maximising long-term and sustainable profits helps spread our business model to new locations and helps our partners, the planet, and our people.”



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REFERENCE

Sundrop Farms, South Australia (viewed 30.11.2019)

https://www.sundropfarms.com/

The Conversation, 2014 (viewed 30.11.2019)

https://theconversation.com/tomatoes-watered-by-the-sea-sprouting-a-new-way-of-farming-23119