Organic vegetables are gaining in popularity being linked to better health and lower levels of toxic pesticides. But do organically grown produce have less pesticide residue than non-organic foods? After all, while synthetic pesticides are eliminated in organically grown vegetables, they are replaced with natural or plant-based pesticides. Enter Cultiveat. This modern farm has been able to create perfectly gorgeous vegetables using zero pesticides and minimal waste.
Cultiveat is the first farm to use precision farming methods on a large scale in Malaysia. Using automation technology, they regulate things like light, temperature, humidity, and water to provide the ideal conditions for optimal plant growth. This removes the need for the use of pesticides and harmful chemicals.
Technology for Healthier Consumption
We had the chance to visit Cultiveat farms and chat with John-Hans who spearheads this urban farming company. Let’s just say that our minds were blown. Not only does this farm utilize one of a kind technology that results in full and lush vegetables, they are able to achieve this outcome with minimal waste using no pesticides at all! To top it all off, they’ve managed to make farming look cool. Now that’s an important factor if we’re going to get future generations interested in this industry.
Stepping onto the farm grounds is an experience in and of itself. You would expect to see soil in the ground with plants sprouting from the earth. Instead, we enter what looks like a stylish spotless green house with rows upon rows of bright green vegetables bursting out of miniature black pots sitting on racks. These pots were literally the size of an expresso cup.
We were immediately curious about these little pots. How was it possible for such luscious vegetables to sprout out of these tiny little containers. Hans explains that these “pots” are actually what he calls cartridges. Each cartridge is designed to hold the exact amount of nutrients needed for optimal growth. This means 200 times less growing media used! Imagine that. The environment is also taken into consideration. Each cartridge completely biodegrades in 3 years. That’s virtually zero wastage.
Maximum Growth Potential
Hans continues to show us his farm. There is so much research and thought that goes into every step of the farming process. We can clearly see that Hans and his partners must have a slight bit of OCD in their DNA. Lucky for us the result is that we get to benefit from luscious nutrient packed vegetables without any pesticides at all. We mean ZERO pesticides! Any pests that manage to get through into the protected inner sanctum of the greenhouse are hand picked and removed.
We see a water dispensing system design to feed exact amounts of water depending on the vegetable, a natural air cooling system that maintains temperature of the grounds regardless of the blazing hot sun outside and automatic sliding roof system designed to provide shade or sunlight when needed. Hans and his partners have basically broken down every step of the farming process and considered what each variety of vegetable needs for optimal growth; from temperature, to amount of soil, exact amount of water and sunlight. The result are produce that has 30% faster growth, 50% lower production costs and 90% less water usage compared to traditional farming. Most importantly, it tastes better!
Cultiveat For the Community
Beyond beautiful and healthy for you vegetables, Cultiveat makes an impact with the community. They honour the land on which their farms are built by trying to uplift the lives of the community around them. Those that work in the farm are hired from the surrounding neighbourhood.
In addition, Cutliveat works closely with several NGOs providing jobs for single moms, the blind and wheelchair bound. Their cartridges have built in grooves so that the blind can easily be guided on where to plant the seeds while their racks are all built at a height that is accessible to those in wheelchairs.
A Future with Cutliveat
Currently, Cultiveat supplies vegetables to restaurants. Businesses interested can contact them directly. For the rest of us, we’ll soon be able to buy from them too! Yay!
Later this year they will be launching an online subscription to deliver their vegetables straight from the farm to your home. There are also plans for a retail shop within the next 6 months.