It isn't just our herbs that soak up the sunlight
The installation of this system has done two key things for us:
The first is allowing us to physically action our sustainable ethos in a way that our customers can get behind. Knowing that the herbs you buy are not only grown by sunlight, but the systems that support their growing are run on the same sunlight – this is real time sustainability.
The second is the energy savings! Hydroponic systems as large as ours demand a lot of pumping power to operate. Needless to say we're enjoying the savings and after the initial pay-off period, the savings can be re-invested in cutting edge growing technology.
Total Panels: 126
Total Power Output: 37.56 kWH
Estimated yearly power output: 53100W
Inverter Details: Fronius Symo 3 phase inverters- 1 x 20kW, 2 x 10kW. Fronius Primo single phase inverter 1 x 4kW.
Panel brand and power output: 110 x 300W Trina Honey Plus on sheds and 16 x 285W Trina Honey Plus on the house.
SkySolar used 25 years of NIWA weather data for Auckland to overlay the solar generation with our consumption. This enables us to ensure the solar system produces usable power during the daytime period rather than over producing and sending power back to the grid.
Beyond the sun, by far our next biggest recycling effort is in the use of our next biggest resource – water. We have storage for water from the sky amounting to 600,000 litres. You will agree after this last winter how much use we have put those tanks to!
When we have used all of our stored water we take water from the ground. Wherever it comes from however, our use of water is a carefully managed project. With the controls that our growing technologies provide, together with the use of biofilters, beneficial bacteria and fungi and weekly testing, we are reusing, reusing and reusing our water.
In fact the only water we add to the system is the water the plants breath out as they grow.
Scarborough Fare have been members of the Agrecovery Programme since it began away back then. All our empty plastic containers are cleaned and stored to be taken away to our local collection point. If our waste is organic it goes to our compost area. All other by products of the business are sent to our local recycling centre each week, leaving our farm a picture to the eye.
Pests and disease risk management is a big issue for any grower. We are very lucky to be growers of the 21st Century with access to solutions designed by companies and individuals within the very innovative and proactive industry that Horticulture is (did you know that Horticulture is smack on track to be earning $10 billion export dollars for NZ by 2020?)
Isolation annexes, insect mesh, biological armies made up of literally millions of voracious eaters and predatory insects are all means by which we target the enemy – all without risk to you!
Our environment is a beauty to behold and we love every square inch of it. In our little corner of the world what was rolling pasture and grazing animals is now producing intensively. Complementing our growing structures are extensive native plantings of Flax, Manuka, Kanuka, Ribbonwood, Ake ake, Kowhai, Cordyline, Karo, Lemonwood and Psuedopanax. To name but a few. Thousands of plants, propagated from eco sourced seed and planted by ourselves and family, these areas are now home to the birds and bees and keep our waterways filtered fresh and clean.