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Top 5 Advantages of Container Farming

The allure of container farming has introduced many new farmers to indoor agriculture. The portability and low fixed costs have expanded the possibilities for grow sites for many people. Industry players estimate that there are between 250 and 300 branded container farms in the world, with likely as many homegrown operations in existence.

This growing practice has not only captured the imagination of the media, but it has also attracted entrepreneurs and investors. A container farm’s size, cost and ability to grow in extreme temperatures have made it a great option for the right kind of farmer. While they do have their niche and their own challenges, container farms have several advantages.

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BerryWorld Australia raspberry launch

Specialty Australian berry producer, BerryWorld Australia, has launched premium raspberries within six months of announcing its presence in the premium berry category with strawberries. Grown under polytunnels at Stanthorpe, southern Queensland, BerryWorld’s first raspberries arrived on supermarket shelves in mid-January. Raspberries are the second of three berry lines to be produced by BerryWorld Australia – a joint venture between leading fruit producer Piñata Farms and global berry brand, BerryWorld Group. Blackberries will follow in 2020. See More

New greenhouse research

The first experiments in the new research centre for protected horticulture in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, developed with support from Wageningen University & Research experts, show that water savings of over 90% can be achieved in local tomato growing. See More

Flowering in Hong Kong

Cut flowers

China’s cut flower industry began in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong in 1984.

Hong Kong is only the fifteenth largest import market for cut flowers in the world, but it is one of the most dynamic.

By Christine Brown-Paul & Photos Sam Ross

Flowers have always been a part of the Chinese culture since at least seven different types of flowers represents a strong meaning in the culture. They represent natural nectar that brings growth, fulfilment and new, prosperous beginnings to lives. In Fen Shui, many flowers are said to bring good fortune and success because healthy flowering plants manifest good Chi or energy. See More

Building the Dream

Tasman Bay Herbs

Tasman Bay Herbs specialise in a range of herb products.

In the face of formidable challenges, Tasman Bay Herbs today supplies 30 different varieties of culinary herbs and salad green to supermarkets across NewZealand.

From a random encounter with a book on hydroponics 13 years ago, Don Grant and his then wife, Yoka De Houwer, went from 375 square metres of glasshouse in New Zealand’s Riwaka’s Dehra Doon valley to about 5000sqm growing fresh herbs hydroponically – under the banner of Tasman Bay Herbs – for supermarkets from Auckland to Queenstown. See More

Fruit production in the future

Robotic waiters

Robots serving food in Chinese restaurant.

Where will the raw materials come from to “manufacture” our future food? ‘Fruit growing in the future’ is a paper presented by Dr Mike Nichols at the 2017 Protected Cropping Australia Conference.

It is the winter of 2100 and in a restaurant in Auckland and the waiter asks a diner about his choice of dessert.  The reply is a fresh white-fleshed nectarine, so the waiter proceeds to the kitchen and dials up the request on the food computer, which promptly instructs the 3-D printer to produce the nectarine.  See More


Hherb garden

Backyard hydroponic culinary herb garden.



As dawn breaks, young sprigs of peppermint are selected for morning tea. At lunch, basil is selected for a pesto sauce. During the day, fresh rosemary is added to bread, and a teaspoon of tarragon is harvested for a supper dish. In the evening, sage leaves are brewed for a bedtime tea to aid in a good night’s sleep. See More

Caribbean Fresh



On the tiny Caribbean island of Anguilla, one luxury resort uses freshly supplied produce grown in its own pesticide-free, hydroponic farm.

By Christine Brown-Paul

A British Overseas Territory in the Eastern Caribbean, Anguilla comprises a small main island and several offshore islets. Its beaches range from long sandy stretches like Rendezvous Bay, overlooking neighbouring Saint Martin island, to secluded coves reached by boat, such as at Little Bay. Protected areas include Big Spring Cave, known for its prehistoric petroglyphs, and East End Pond, a wildlife conservation site. See More

The Final Word

Hydroponic leek

Leeks growing hydroponically.

Dr Mike Nichols looks at how huge savings in water and fertiliser might be achieved by growing hydroponically in New Zealand. 

“Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.”

Ode to the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Coleridge Taylor See More

Avoiding basic mistakes

Poor management

Photo 1: Poor management and low commitment of all parties involved led to the deterioration of infrastucture.

International hydroponics consultant Professor Gert Venter D. Eng; M. Eng (Agric) CUM LAUDE looks at some case studies, which illustrate why some greenhouse businesses in South Africa thrive while others fail. South Africa’s relatively young greenhouse industry is characterised by some spectacular successes but there are just too many projects that become total failures very soon after kick-off. See More