Lighting solutions deployed in four projects across Wales designed to educate, inspire and feed the local population
Farm Urban’s Edible Wall at Greenmeadow Community Farm, using Arize® Lynk
LONDON, UK – 16 September, 2021 – GE Current, a Daintree company, today confirmed it is supporting a number of local Welsh community projects designed to explore and develop the use of controlled environment agriculture (CEA) at a local level. By donating Arize® LED grow lights to the initiative coordinated by Social Farms & Gardens and deployed in both racks and vertical grow walls by CEA experts, Digital Farming Ltd. and Farm Urban Ltd., Current will help local communities learn more about the benefits of CEA farming and support the future growth of this new sector in Wales.
Funded by the Welsh Government and led by Social Farms & Gardens, with support from the NutriWales cluster and its CEA Special Interest Group, the Crop Cycle CEA Community Project aims to create a test bed for the introduction of CEA growing systems in community settings. These will provide sustainable, hyper-local, nutritional crops for the benefit of the population and establish an infrastructure for the continued supply of food.
Gary Mitchell, Joint Wales Manager, Social Farms & Gardens, said: “Controlled environment agriculture represents a huge opportunity for Wales, both on a local community level and as a potential avenue to create new skilled jobs and future career paths in a critical sector. With the various community implementations, we’re demonstrating the flexibility of CEA installations to add value to existing businesses, fit into existing brownfield sites and generate opportunities for communities to eat better, reduce carbon footprints and support their economies.”
As CEA installations either supplement or replace natural sunlight completely, the quality of lighting is critically important in unlocking the potential of every plant grown. However, communities must also balance the quality of light with practical considerations like energy consumption, efficiency and longevity. Current’s Arize® Lynk LED solutions are backed by the company’s long heritage of sustainable lighting innovation, offering a long lifespan of 36,000 hours at L90 and a range of tailored lighting spectra to optimise the yields of every harvest.
Current’s Arize Lynk lighting has been deployed by Digital Farming in two locations: Greenmeadow Community Farm in Cwmbran, one of only two city farms in Wales, and Cultivate, Newtown in mid Wales. The luminaires are arranged in vertical racks, housed in repurposed shipping containers, and produce leafy salads and microgreens. In addition, Farm Urban has deployed the Arize Lynk grow lighting in demonstration grow walls at both Greenmeadow Community Farm and Cultivate, as well as two further locations: Welcome to our Woods, in Treherbert and Xplore! Science Discovery Centre, located in Wrexham.
In addition to growing crops to be sold in local community cafés and shops or used to give a strong start to plants that can then be taken and grown in polytunnels, the CEA installations will perform a valuable educational function. Some of the Farm Urban grow walls are located in public spaces like the community café at Welcome to our Woods and the local college reception area in Newtown. The team is also working with the college to introduce new horticulture and CEA modules into its agriculture curriculum from 2022, while the grow wall at Xplore! is helping primary and secondary school pupils learn more about the future of farming.
“Those of us already working in the CEA sector understand its potential as a sustainable way for us to produce high-quality, nutritious and tasty food locally and at scale, with less wastage and a lower carbon footprint,” commented Malcolm Yare, Horticulture Commercial Leader at GE Current, a Daintree company. “At Current, we’re committed to supporting indoor growers of all shapes and sizes, so we’re very pleased to support these community CEA projects that not only demonstrate its viability as a sector but also help educate the next generation of growers and CEA experts.”
For more information about Current’s range of horticulture lighting and for further insight into the role of LED lighting in indoor farming, please visit: https://www.gecurrent.com/eu-en