GP Solutions announced it started R&D into growing strawberries, and will soon begin cultivation of the popular fruit. GrowPods - controlled-environment micro-farms - allow farmers to grow herbs, fruits and vegetables year-round without using chemical crop protection. This is a particular advantage when cultivating strawberries, listed by the Environmental Working Group as number one of the Dirty Dozen Pesticide-Laden Foods.
"There is an enormous need for a better tasting and less toxic strawberry," said George Natzic, CEO of GP Solutions. Traditional methods of growing strawberries use the plasticulture system – raised beds fumigated with chloropicrin.
"Obviously, when you kill everything in the soil, there are going to be consequences," Natzic said. "That's why we are so proud that we can grow ultra-clean strawberries in our GrowPods without any harmful chemicals, pesticides or herbicides."
In a landmark study, researchers found that strawberries grown organically have a longer shelf life, higher antioxidant activity, increased levels of ascorbic acid (vitamin C), and higher concentrations of micronutrients. They were also judged to be sweeter and have better flavor than their conventional counterparts.
GrowPods allow farmers to enter the organic food sector in an affordable and scalable manner. These automated indoor micro-farms are portable and can be located almost anywhere for year-round cultivation of herbs, fruits and vegetables.
GrowPods can be located nearer to the point of distribution or consumption, which minimizes transportation time and expense, and allows for fruit to be fully ripened before it is harvested - compared to traditional farming where unripe, hard fruit is picked in order to withstand the rigors of long-distance shipping.
Grow Pod Solutions