Got this press release from Thanet Earth seems like something good is going on over there
Thanet Earth puts greenhouses into production
Progress at the Thanet Earth development continues at breathtaking pace with over half a million tomato and pepper plants now planted in the greenhouses. The 8 week old, 12 inch plants raised exclusively for the project, arrived just before the Christmas holidays and were individually transplanted into the new greenhouses. It took the first two grower companies and their dedicated team of horticulturalists just four days to complete the plant, covering a massive 45 acres. The third greenhouse for cucumbers will be planted in late January with all three growers forecasting the first harvest in early March.
Commenting on their teams efforts, Tom Zwinkles, Greenhouse manager for Rainbow Growers said he was delighted with the way the arrival of the plants had gone. “Putting the crop in place is always a potentially difficult time and although the weather was very cold, it has given us some fantastic winter light levels and the plants are growing incredibly quickly. At this early stage pepper plants grow over 10cm every week which means we have to crop train the one million plant shoots every week.”
Gert van Strallen, Managing Director and tomato grower at Kaaij Redstar was equally excited about the first round of planting. “Getting all the latest technology to the UK and installed on time was challenging but we have been really well supported by local trades and expertise. It’s great to now see the UK’s largest greenhouse planted out with the 8 varieties we’ll be growing for the UK supermarkets.”
Work on the packing facility is also progressing at great speed and is due for completion in late February, in time to handle the first production from the site. Steve McVickers, Managing Director of Thanet Earth Marketing, said he was pleased with the preparation work for the recruitment campaign. “In the first weeks of January we’ll have a number of vacancy details posted on our web site. We have been delighted with the interest seen so far for work at the site. We’ve received literally hundreds of letters and we’ll be going through these and the latest applications as each job role becomes relevant.”
It is just over a year since the first earth movers arrived on site, and only 30 weeks from when the first greenhouse foundations went in, yet the former cauliflower farm has been transformed into UK’s largest, most sustainable greenhouse complex. Three of the seven eventual greenhouses have already been built, along with seven reservoirs, over 2km of roads and an electricity substation to put the power generated at the site onto the National Grid for supply to local homes and businesses.