Despite fall being in full bloom, the strawberry cultivation in Lappträsk, Finland is running full throttle. Robert Jordas believes it is interesting to try new cultivation methods.
One of the new methods is the vertical cultivation of strawberries: the strawberries grow on different levels. In the space, around 30 square meters in size, strawberry plants are hanging with flowers, unripe, and ripe fruit. Because of the colorful lighting, it reminds of a disco.
The high air humidity immediate fogs up your glasses, but the temperature is not tropical. it looks more like the Finnish Indian summer.
All plants are looking well, because every level has its own lighting. Jordas: "We want the plants to grow optimally and to keep the climate around the plant as optimal as can be."
Secrets, pink light, and the perfect cultivation circumstances
The optimal climate for a strawberry plant means the right light and the right heat and air humidity. The plant also requires CO2, nutrients and water.
Jordas: "The interesting thing is that we, focused or the growth requirement, can control everything."
Much of the project is still secret. One of the secrets is LED lighting. The plants need a lot of light; LED lighting produces less heat than other lamps and can be placed closer to the plant so you can create more levels.
Jordas: "There are many advantages to growing on multiple levels: a larger harvest on a smaller surface, being able to control the spectrum of the lamps. We try to lean as much as possible and find the right cultivation method."
Robert Jordas wanted to grow strawberries because he likes them, but he is not completely satisfied with the taste his strawberries have at the moment.
Jordas: "We are going to test this cultivation method for a year. Continuous harvesting is possible, when one plant has flowers, the other has ripe fruits."
But is it environmentally friendly to grow strawberries in Finland in the middle of winter?
According to Jordas, that depends on how the electricity is generated. "If we use sustainable energy, it is better than importing vegetables and fruit from other countries. Also, strawberries are fresh products and it is important to consume them as soon as possible."