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US (HI): Hydroponic greenhouse farm ready for commercial harvest

Sprinkling over red dirt that was once part of the most productive pineapple plantation in the world may not seem like the way to start a positive transformation of agriculture on Lanai.

But within the first two of nine huge greenhouses with concrete floors on the former Pineapple Isle, an abundance of products is being built up in what operator Sensei Farms Lanai describes as a partially controlled environment powered by a mix of old and new technology, from radiators to computers.

The sides of the structures are made of clear, hard polycarbonate. The roofing material consists of two layers of polyethylene, through which some ultraviolet rays come through. To further control UV rays, a mesh ceiling blocks some sunlight or it can be retracted to allow more.

The entire greenhouse is designed to withstand winds up to 105 mph.

To control the air flow and temperature inside, the leeward side of the building has two rows of exhaust fans. The lower row draws air from the lower parts of the greenhouse, while an upper row functions as an attic fan and draws more of the hotter air out.

Read more at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (Andrew Gomes)

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