Light4Food offers guidance and solutions for hydroponic systems from idea to realization:
Light4Food has been developing several tools for manual handling and automated handling. We offer solutions for the whole growing cycle: from seeding to harvest.
As the hydroponic growing system offers flexibility in growing different types of crops, our machinery is engineered to handle both high density crops and head lettuce crops.
Filling, seeding and transplanting
The growing cycles start by filling the floats with peat and sowing of seeds in the peat. Head lettuce need to be seeded in nursery floats and when big enough sequentially transplanted into growing floats. Light4Food developed completely automated machinery lines for the handling of these tasks.
+ Efficient handling of peat, minimal waste
+ Seeding machinery can easily be adjusted to sow multiple crops and varieties
+ Several lines can handle higher rates of floats per hour
+ Manual solutions for transplanting – for small scale farms
+ Automated solutions for transplanting – for large scale farms
The floats are transported from the machinery into the germination, propagation and growing ponds. To complete the cycle, floats are transported within the growing ponds and from the growing ponds to the harvest and processing machinery. Light4Food developed a transport solutions for floats through the use of water channels. The channels are steered by water power through pumps. Advantages:
+ Crops stay fresh while waiting to be harvested and processed
+ Floaters and crops are not harmed by conveyor belts or other mechanization
+ Reuse of water
+ Transport channels can easily be emptied and cleaned after use
Harvest, cleaning and processing
When the crops are full-grown, they are transported to the harvest, cleaning and processing area. The crops are harvested from the floats. This can be done manually or by machinery. Second, the floats need to be cleaned so they can enter a new growing cycle and the deriving waste needs to be handled. The harvested crops is transported into crates or processed machinery. Several choices as which crops and for what market will be produced, need to be answered in order to engineer a fitting machinery line. Light4Food developed two gradations in machinery for harvesting, cleaning and processing.
Light4Food offers a hybrid line of manual and automated solutions, the so-called ‘Slim Line’. Characteristics:
+ Capacity: up to 300 floats per hour
+ Profitable for small scale farms
+ Machinery can be mobile
Light4Food offers a fully automatic machinery line, the so-called ‘Advanced Line’. Characteristics:
+ Capacity: up to 600 floats per hour
+ Profitable for large scale farms
+ Stand alone and autonomous machinery line
+ Machines are engineered and manufactured to the demands of Food Safety Certification and Ready to Eat