GMS News 72 September - October 2014

 

 

 

August Meeting

A visit to Europa Nurseries

 

Society_from_above_reducedWe had no meeting in September. That means our last meeting was in August when, on the third Thursday of that month a convoy of cars left Great Mongeham heading for the Europa Nurseries at Ash. Clad in protective white suits as if entering a crime scene we were admitted to a giant greenhouse occupying 55000 square metres. 

Rows_of_tomatoes_smallWe were confronted by row upon row of giant tomato plants, suspended from the roof on strings. Their stems ran horizontally before ascending to the roof. They had been growing since January and would continue till November and all the tomatoes harvested were destined for Tesco.

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As the stems grew taller they were lowered and moved along, thus increasing their horizontal length.

 

 

 

 

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   The plants, imported from the Netherlands, were growing hydroponically in rockwool packs irrigated by a carefully controlled nutrient solution. The tops of the vines were accessed by an extending lift which also provided the platform from which our cover photo was taken.

 

 

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In_the_engine_room_smallMembers were impressed by the technology required to produce the humble tomato. This was further enhanced by our next stop, which was to visit the building containing generators and the giant tank containing the hot water for heating the greenhouses.

 

 

 

 

 

As a result of using biogas to run the generators and other advanced technology they claimed to be nearly carbon neutral. The engine room looked like a set from Startrek.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DDC_logoOctober Meeting

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, 16th October when Mandy Pile, who id the Waste Services Manager for Dover District Council, will be "Talking Rubbish".

We are all familiar with the binmen who come each week to take alternately refuse and recycling and we know that we pay for this service through our rates. However it will be very interesting to see just where our money goes.


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