In 1993, Rob Tolson of Elf Farm Supplies developed the first aerated floor using the spigot system.
2 tunnels were built, each of 300 tons, to house the compost for the last few days of the composting
process. The current installation has a capacity of 600 tons of fresh compost weekly.
"We opted for Christiaens because only they could supply machinery that meets our own exacting standards. We also benefited from their wealth of experience during the engineering and implementation stages of the project".
The phase 1 project started at the beginning of 2003. The installation comprises 8 phase 1 tunnels of 300 ton filled from the top. Spent processed air is extracted via an air washer and chimney duct.
" The biggest gains can be seen in the reduced number of loader and man-hours," says Rob Tolson.
The follow-up order is 13 phase 2 / 3 tunnels for the production of 480 tons fully-grown substrate each week.
Since 2001 we have built up a complete new Phase I and Phase II/III-facility. Rob Tolson started operating the Phase I facility in 2003, following by the start-up of the Phase II/III facility in April 2004. From April 2005 we have increased the production of the Phase II/III facility to a total production
of 420 tonnes of Phase III each week. The facility will help us to produce a product which is more consistent and of high quality because everything is now indoors. When we have completed our learning on how to compost indoor, we are very confident that the results will be improved compared to that of outdoor composting with the influence of the weather removed. The farms currently look like they will be able to maintain a production average over 38 kg per square metre for fresh market
sales. The Christiaens Group has worked with us for many years to plan and execute the building of an indoor facility and we felt that they were the best place to supply all the different components that we needed. That is, the full package with prices negotiated on all items to keep the total cost within budget limits.