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Video: How to Scale Sustainable Tomatoes

3p Contributor | Wednesday August 1st, 2012 | 0 Comments

A version of this post originally appeared on Future 360

Situated an hour outside Los Angeles, in Camarillo, California, Houwelings Tomatoes fuses nature with technology to produce millions of tomatoes every year. Leading the company is extreme innovator and CEO, Casey Houweling.

The company’s philosophy is firmly rooted in pragmatism. While they need to use energy, fertilizer, water and other raw materials, Houwelings makes efforts to minimize the use of those resources.

The farm is powered with five acres of solar photovoltaics. Rainwater is captured and cleaned via reverse osmosis and recirculated back into the growing process. 90% of all waste is recycled. And then there’s the greenhouse itself, which uses 24 times less land than field farming. The greenhouse is heated with solar thermal and excess heat from the refrigeration units and the recently purchased cogeneration engines.

The two GE cogeneration engines convert natural gas into 8.8 mw of power. Meanwhile, waste heat from the engine’s exhaust and oil heat the greenhouse and CO2 is captured from the exhaust used as a fertilizer for the greenhouse. The engine will be running at almost 100% efficiency with any excess power being fed back into the grid.

Sarah Backhouse of Future 360 shows it all in the video below:


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