HomeHorticultural businessTechnologiesGeorgian restaurants will serve ultra-fresh herbs thanks to Space Farms Spot
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Georgian restaurants will serve ultra-fresh herbs thanks to Space Farms Spot

The vertical farm has several key advantages – high productivity per occupied space and relatively low operating costs per unit of production, as well as environmental friendliness of products, the conditions for growing of which are controlled.

Besides, there is also an aesthetic component. Culinary and aromatic herbs, fresh vegetables and fruits on the shelf always attract consumers, and supermarkets are well aware of this. As for vertical farms, their multi-tiered shelves with plants and LEDs of a certain spectrum are still a novelty for consumers. Tusya Garibashvili, the founder of the Urban Farming project, and Adjara Group, known for design hotels, offered a solution that satisfies both environmental and aesthetic criteria.

For two years now, the first vertical farm in Georgia, Space Farms, has been attracting Instagram bloggers to Café Stamba in the very heart of Tbilisi. A wide range of herbs, lettuces and edible flowers, grown in a hydroponic vertical farm, are delivered ultra-fresh to the café. Thus, the distance from the farm to the table is no more than 10 meters. During the pandemic, signing up for a monthly or weekly delivery of a range of fresh herbs grown at the urban vertical farm has become particularly popular.

Andriy Yarmak, economist at the Investment Centre of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), spoke in more detail about the Space Farms farm, as well as the opportunities for developing vertical farming in the regions, in his blog.

Tusya Garibashvili, who has been engaged in urban farming for more than five years and has gained practical experience in growing herbs and berries in a controlled environment, decided to offer an affordable solution for those who want to have their own vertical farm – Space Farms Spot. The spot is a transparent showcase with shelving and a lighting and irrigation system. The new solution is compact, as it takes up only 2 sq. m. and has low costs – 10–15 kW per day for electricity and minor water costs, since the spot consumes only about 100 liters of water per month due to recycling. At the same time, you can get up to 600 bushes of plants within a month.

If the average weight of one plant is 50 g, then up to 25 kg of culinary and aromatic herbs can be harvested monthly from 2 sq. m. of such a mini-farm. Space Farms Spot is fully automated and controlled from a smartphone app. Therefore, such a mini-farm does not require labor – one person will be enough to plant seedlings and harvest. Together with the equipment, Space Farms offers a service that will periodically supply seedlings for planting in a mini-farm. According to the founder of the company, such a service will be available throughout the region, as it is planned to produce seedlings in other countries of the South Caucasus and Central Asia for uninterrupted supplies to the owners of Space Farms Spot. It is also important that the buyer chooses the assortment, based on demand, and the company is ready to provide any seedlings.

The project is aimed at the B2B sector, primarily hotels, restaurants, and large supermarkets. Also, the mini-farm will be interesting for those who want to develop a “vertical business”, but do not yet dare to make serious investments. Working with Space Farms Spot, it will be possible to understand how suitable this business is for owners before investing tens of thousands of dollars. The declared price of Space Farms Spot is $15 000, financing through leasing is also possible. According to Space Farms, the investment pays off in 5 years.

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