Welcome to the vertical forest farm in Aisne

On the cone that wraps the little pot of basil, it says: Locally grown plant without pesticides. Whoever buys it at Monoprix, Intermarché or Grand Frais, the three current distributors, has no doubt that this aromatic plant grew ten meters tall on a science fiction farm north of Château-Thierry.

You can’t get in without a blouse, boots, and Charlotte in your hair. “Since we do not use pesticides, we must avoid introducing diseases or parasites into the farm.”according to Stephanie Hino, Director of Quality (QHSE).

“We make it a point of honor to supply the local market”

This farm, called Jungle, is like a hangar on the outside and a space shuttle on the inside. The first room is reserved for logistics. There is a stock of “earth” in which aromatic herbs and rare plants grow.

It is a mixture of peat and coconut fibres. We are currently testing another mixture of fibers and wood chips. This will allow us to grow with a French product. » “Let’s grow French” is part of the jungle concept. “We make it a point of honor to supply the local market. Our trucks should be able to deliver shipments during the day.”Stephanie says.

The seeds are placed in exactly the same way

Back in the hall which is also where the French seeds are placed in pots. This is done semi-automatically. And so the seeds are placed in exactly the same way, as optimally as possible, in each container. The production then spends three to seven days in the germination room where the humidity is 95%. This is followed by a period of pre-growth before the final growth and growth period. The whole thing takes between twelve and fifteen days, all year round. »

Crops are grown without seasonal restrictions, without frost, without hail, heat waves or storms. There is no one stop at Jungle Towers. The zodiac is where the period of pre-growth and then growth occurs. You enter it after the security system is activated so you don’t find yourself being manipulated like a pot of basil by the automated system. Each tower is about ten meters high, and consists of large staircases. Young shoots are deposited there by elevator. They develop there under lamps that act like the sun. The irrigation system manages the irrigation. The used water is recycled and re-injected into the electrical circuit »Stephanie adds.

The farmer is nothing but the computer

The man is not the master of the tower. The computer takes care of everything. Detects when plants are thirsty and when they are ready to go. It can also detect the presence of a parasite or disease. He who sows. The twenty people who work in the bowels of the forest are all assistants of technology along with artificial intelligence.

On the other hand, Basil has nothing to envy his colleagues growing in the fields. Otherwise, perhaps visit the butterflies and the morning dew and the southern breeze in their leaves. For the rest, the director assures, “The taste and nutritional qualities are just as good, all without any chemicals”.

These farms can be installed at the gates of all cities in France.

They will provide the residents who live there with fruits and vegetables. Strawberries will no longer come from Spain but from the northern regions or eastern suburbs. They will no longer cross France in the refrigerators of trucks where they finish ripening. A new agricultural route is in the process of hatching.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.