Polytunnels and Greenhouses:
A wide variety of vegetables can be grown in greenhouses, and on only a fraction of the land required for field cultivation of the same produce. Greenhouses allow plant foods to be grown in regions where the climate would not have been suitable – for example, Antarctica, Iceland, Holland, Las Vegas, etc. This excellent article from ‘Free from Harm’ discusses the potential of greenhouses in more detail.
Many salad vegetables and other plant foods are grown in Ireland in polytunnels and greenhouses. These are referred to as ‘protected crops’.
- Greenhill Fruit Farm in Wexford is one example of a business which utilises greenhouses and polytunnels on a large scale.
- Read our case study on the Dutch horticulture industry here – an industry that is highly reliant on greenhouses.
The video below looks at the potential of greenhouses in Ireland:
Vertical farming is the practice of growing crops in vertically stacked layers. It usually incorporates controlled environment architecture (ie. light, humidity and temperature), which aims to optimize plant growth, and soilless farming techniques such as hydroponics. The main advantage of utilizing vertical farming technologies is the increased crop yield that comes with a smaller unit area of land requirement, and plants can be grown all year round.
Currently Farmony, based in Dublin, is the only vertical farming operation in Ireland.