Longkeeper Farm are growers of microgreens bursting with flavour. Located in the Bombay Hills, south of Auckland, the team are hard at work, bringing these superfoods to the supermarket and chefs kitchens.
These living microgreens are grown in a large green house with full climate control systems. Daily planting and harvesting allows the product to be delivered fresh to a demanding marketplace, all year round.
As part of their mission towards sustainable growth and achieving high crop yields in a small space, Longkeeper Farm embrace traditional growing techniques, paired with new technologies. One important step involves reusing the microgreen nursery trays.
But if nursery trays are not carefully washed and sanitised, plant disease, pests, viruses and other nasties can thrive. By cleaning the trays the next seedlings can get off to a clean and healthy start. When done manually, tray washing is a slow process and can lack quality control. Seedlings grown on a commercial scale that have health issues can be destructive to growers as they try to rectify the problem.
Recently, Longkeeper Farm founder & co-owner, Peter Thornley, approached PrimeHort for an automated solution to this tedious task.
We recommended a streamlined, simple ‘one pass’ Maxi Tray Washer and Peter is delighted with the results;
“We are very happy with the tray washer. It does exactly what we want. We can easily wash 400-500 trays an hour. We’ve also noticed a 12% increase in yield of our microgreens, simply by washing our trays. I don’t know why every microgreen grower doesn’t have one.”
Some of the key features that Longkeeper Farm respect about the Maxi Tray Washer is its ability to filter and recycle its dirty water, plus recycle its spray treatment. They also appreciate the adjustable speed, high-pressure, double-rotating cleaning jets, and that it came with an inbuilt multi-stage pump (saving them from buying a pump). For circa $45,000 the machine will repay itself quickly.
Next up, we’ll work with Peter on a suitable tray stacking unit to catch the trays at the completion of their wash cycle. They’ve caught the automation bug and we look forward to continuing our partnership.
If you would like to discuss how nursery automation can increase productivity in your workplace, give the team a call today.