Organic Farming in Greenhouses


Introduction

Large greenhouse projects are being built around the world in order to increase the efficiency, quality, and quantity of agricultural production; to grow crops which would be difficult to grow outdoors; to lower production costs; and to increase revenue and profitability.  Another major reason is that all the crops can be grown 100% organically, which will open new markets domestically and abroad, and provide very stiff competition to chemical food suppliers because the cost of production will be lower, the 100% organic food will be tastier and more flavoursome, and also healthier to eat.

How Bio-Plant and Pro-Plant Would Be Used in Greenhouses

The following presentation summarises how Bio-Plant and Pro-Plant would be applied in a large-scale greenhouse project in a large-scale, 100% organic farming, greenhouse project. Here is the same presentation in Spanish and French.

How to Produce the Compost for the Greenhouses

A large greenhouse project will require the production of a large amount of compost. Consequently, Windrow Composting is the best option.

What Is Windrow Composting?

Windrow composting is the production of compost by piling organic matter and biodegradable waste, such as animal manure and crop residues, in long rows (windrows). This method is suited to producing large volumes of compost. These rows are generally turned to improve porosity and oxygen content, mix in or remove moisture, and redistribute cooler and hotter portions of the pile.

Windrow machines have a steel drum with paddles that are rapidly turning. As the turner of the windrow machine drives through the windrow at a slow rate of forward movement, fresh air (oxygen) is injected into the compost by the paddles, and waste gases produced by bacterial decomposition are vented. The oxygen feeds the aerobic bacteria and thus speeds the composting process.

The Windrow Composting process controls parameters include the initial ratios of Carbon- and Nitrogen-rich materials, the amount of bulking agent added to assure air porosity, the pile size, moisture content, and turning frequency. The temperature of the windrows must be measured and logged constantly to determine the optimum time to turn them for quicker compost production.

The following video shows 100% coffee pulp being turned by a windrow machine. As the windrow turner goes though the pile moving and aerating the material, steam can be seen from the back of the turner as water evaporates due to the high compost temperature.

Section 2 of the above presentation explains how to make compost in windrows with Bio-Plant.