Little Leaf Farms is a semi-closed high-tech greenhouse facility in Devens, United States. Little Leaf Farms' mission is to provide fresh, locally grown lettuce grown sustainably all year round to their New England consumers. The result is a hydroponic greenhouse based on state-of-the-art technology with which they have preserved and optimised their cultivation.
Since 2015 PB tec has been a partner of Little Leaf Farms. In the past five years we have optimized their water, climate and electro system in close cooperation with Little Leaf Farms. An example is the lighting installation that has been further developed over the years into a specific lighting spectrum per cultivation phase.
Phase 3 consists of three growth phases of the crop, namely; young plants, medium plants and harvest plants. The idea behind this is that each growth phase has its own need for light intensity and water. For example, growth phase 1 (the young plants) needs less leaf area and less light intensity. In this way the energy consumption is optimised and the irrigation can be tuned to the growth phase.
In this phase, the irrigation system is further optimised. An intelligent system takes care of the supply and recovery of water. The water is purified and disinfected, so that as much water as possible is reused and Little Leaf Farms has as little impact on the environment as possible and water consumption is minimized.
In the magazine 'In Greenhouses' Pieter Slaman, cultivation manager of Little Leaf Farms, talks about how they can use this modern technology to grow their lettuce fully automated hydroponically.