SERIOUS MONDAY: UK NEEDS MORE NATIVE FRUIT AND VEG

A massive development is currently underway near Margate in Kent to provide the UK with fresh fruit and salad vegetables all year round.

When completed, Thanet Earth will have greenhouses covering an incredible 80 acres of countryside and will be home to well over a million plants.

The seven huge greenhouses – upto 140m each in length – will be fed by their own reservoirs which will capture and recycle the water in which the crops are grown.

This will allow the site to be self sufficient for water throughout the summer while its combined heat and power system will provide energy for the national grid to offset costs.

Thanet Earth has come about because apparently Brits are chomping their way through ever-growing amounts of fruit and salad (which must be a good thing!)

When finally completed, the UK’s biggest ever greenhouse development will create up to 500 local jobs and increase home grown salad vegetables by around 15 per cent. Cucumbers and peppers will be picked from February until October while tomatoes will be picked throughout the year.

As you might imagine, for a site of this size, even clearing the ground ready for the development was a major undertaking….

I have to admit that  80 acres of glass houses is unlikely to be something you’d like to see in place of the countryside in your area. Fortunately,  the experts say that Thanet Earth type developments are unlikely to be springing up around the country.

The size of site needed isn’t easily available – and apparently there isn’t enough winter light in most parts of Britain to support the greenhouses.

Susan

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