We bought our first land in 2008 in the highlands in Western Java. The elevation of 1,100m provides a ideal temperature range of 15-30°C perfect for the growth of our salad leaves and vine products. Although the climate and water availability were conducive to our production, we quickly learned that mother nature alone is unreliable in delivering consistent yield and product quality that are key to the sustainability of our business.
In 2009, we started to move our vegetable production into greenhouses. Greenhouse vegetable production is widely used globally for many reasons. Greenhouses allow a more controlled environment and protection from the weather and pests, thus enabling higher yields and superior product quality compared to products planted in the open field. 5 years on after we broke ground at our farm, the majority of our production comes from our green houses. Utilizing an automated fertigation (fertilizer and irrigation) system, we are able to adjust our program to different growing conditions and to respond to sudden changes in weather. This monitoring system allows us to focus our effort on the ensuring that we deliver the best quality vegetables, fruits (namely tomatoes), herbs, and spices.Â The main composition of our production are salad leaves, tomatoes, lettuces and baby leaves, but we continue to look for produce to add to our list to offer our customers a one-stop shopping option for their fresh vegetables.
Our lettuce, tomatoes and capsicum are all grown hydroponically in greenhouses. The plants are protected from insect pests by insect netting which surrounds the greenhouse. Spraying is hence significantly reduced, and food safety increased.
We pay close attention to bio security in our farm from the nursery stage, production, and all the way to harvesting. Sanitation is placed at the entry point of every greenhouse to minimize bacteria and other diseases being carried into the green house by people working in it. Tools are also cleaned and regularly swabbed to ensure particle count does not go beyond our set standard. Every tool and facility that our products go through is swabbed regularly to monitor particle count that may negatively affect the shelf life and overall quality of our products.
We maintain the temperature throughout the handling process to reduce bacterial infection, ensure fresher products, and ultimately to ensure each product retains its nutrients. Products are harvested in the cool of the day, to give a longer shelf life. It is then stored in our on-farm cold room, before being delivered to our climate controlled distribution centre in Jakarta by refrigerated truck. Products are sorted, trimmed, and packed, before being delivered to our final customers in refrigerated trucks.
Growing vegetables in greenhouses uses much less land area than growing on an open field due to its much higher yield. Furthermore, all of our products are grown using the hydroponic system which means that less water is used to produce them. Irrigation is done via drip method which minimizes waste of not only water but also fertilizer. We are in the process of revamping our facilties to one day be able to sterilize and reuse the run-off water.