German retailer to offer year-round produce with geothermal greenhouses

German retailer to offer year-round produce with geothermal greenhouses Kaufland in Frankfurt, Germany (source: 7C0, flickr/ Creative Commons)
Carlo Cariaga 12 Jul 2022

German retailer Kaufland and Reichenspurner Hof will build sustainable greenhouses with planned geothermal heating to produce fruits and vegetables year-round.

German retailer Kaufland has partnered with the Reichenspurner family to build modern and sustainable greenhouses in the region of Chiemgau in Bavaria, Germany. These greenhouses can grow fruits and vegetables year-round using solar power, but plans are in place for heating exclusively with geothermal.

“Our focus is on resource-saving and climate-friendly production. In the future, we will obtain our entire heat requirement from our own geothermal plant,” says Thomas Reichenspurner from Reichenspurner Hof.

Strawberries, tomatoes, and peppers are grown and harvested year-round in sustainable greenhouses that span the size of 22 soccer fields. Sweet potatoes are also grown between March and November.

“Thanks to the greenhouse, we can offer tomatoes, peppers, and strawberries from Germany with a particularly aromatic taste and maximum freshness in our stores during the winter months,” said Kauflan Managing Director of Purchasing Stefan Lukes.

“By growing them in Germany, we save on transport times, which has a very positive effect on freshness. The vegetables get from the field to our stores much faster, usually less than 24 hours.” Lukes added.

The modern greenhouses have been designed to be as sustainable as possible. A photovoltaic system augments the electricity supply via cogeneration for the light needed for winter tomatoes, with the waste heat used for greenhouse heating. The CO2 produced in the process is also taken up  by the plants. Irrigation is done via the collection of rainwater in an outdoor pool.

Sustainable greenhouses that use geothermal heat are being developed in many countries globally. In Chile, a geothermal greenhouse project for all-year production of tomatoes was recently completed in Coz Coz. In Canada, a research project is being done to assess the viability of integrating geothermal heat in a greenhouse complex in the city of Estevan in Saskatchewan.

Source: Fresh Plaza