Greenhouses with Capsicums and Chillies
The greenhouses are a high-tech operation, but are full of Natural, Energy efficient and Biological means of growing the best produce.
In our Greenhouses we annually grow around 90,000kg of tasty Red, Green, Yellow and Orange Capsicums, as well as Sweetpoints and Hot Chillies.
The growing system is unique to Southern Belle, consisting of a semi-hydroponic full recycling system, which uses our own nutrient rich compost and volcanic pumice as the growing media.
This unique system creates a very natural, living, soil like environment for the plants. All the nutrients and water that are not used by the plants after irrigating are returned to the main tank and re-cycled again for the next irrigation. This way not a single drop of nutrients or water is wasted or leached out into the soil. The system is also linked to our orchard irrigation system, so when things like sodium do build up over time we can irrigate the Feijoa trees which actually love the extra nutrients! It’s a perfect cycle.
The insulated twin skin Redpath greenhouses are controlled by specialized NZ made Autogrow computers which control the temperature, humidity, nutrient density and irrigation sequences which are in turn triggered by the amount of sunlight.
Heating is achieved using a unique in- house designed, insulated, under plant hot air system which was built in 2007. This was awarded an EECA grant for its extremely high energy efficiency. This system is fuelled by carbon neutral recycled oil and uses 60% less fuel than the traditional gas pipe heating systems commonly used in most other greenhouses.
Additionally in 2019 we invested in Drygair dehumidifiers to even further increase our energy efficiencies and we were awarded another EECA grant for this project.
Pests and diseases are monitored multiple times a week and predator insects from Bioforce and Zonda are introduced regularly to control the likes of Aphids, Psyllids, Thrips, Spider mites etc.
At the end of the growing cycle, the entire greenhouse gets cleaned but only the plants are removed, chipped and composted.
The rest of the system including all the plastic pots, strings and clips gets fully re-used for the following planting. There is no excessive plastic waste produced from growing slabs, strings and clips here!
Once the chipped-up plants are fully composted, the compost gets tested by Hill Laboratories and re-used in the greenhouse system and in the Feijoa orchard.
Along with our amazing hard-working team, this is how we grow the best, nutrient dense, super tasty, healthy Capsicums and Chillies!