Truthfully, how often have you, standing at the vegetable counter, thought about origin of products of this department? Have you ever tried to figure out where were these vegetables grown, who cared for them and also have all these zuccinies, cucumbers, tomatoes and their “fellows” undergone any chemical treatment?
Only one company, which supply vegetables to retail outlet let our reporter go to its ownership. Teplichniy Open Society representatives in Samara kindly show us how vegetables are grown in industrial scale and also answer all questions refered to the quality of the output production.
At first, answer the main question, which worries everyone – are vegetables in stores really supplied from the garden, but not pumped full of nitrates and drenched in preservatives for the ideal visual appearance? We were explained that chemicals in any crop cultivation sphere are needed for repelling pests and pathogens. Most manufacturers add chemicals in the soil, water and spray plants with the certain liquids exactly for this reason. In Samara greenhouses these methods are not used any more — progress reigns here. In Teplichniy certain microorganisms or more precisely “microchimica” are grown, which feed on pathogenic bacteria without harming the landings.
Vegetable production is subdivided into several sectors. In each sector conditions needed for germination and growth of the certain crops are maintained. Besides, workers watch thoroughly that no above-mentioned pests penetrate greenhouse. That’s why anyone, who enters the complex wears clean white lab coat in obligatory order.
Our journey through “vegetable valley” begins with salad complex. Here various sorts of salad, radish, parsley, fennel and other kinds of greens are grown. The computer monitors compliance with all parameters, recommended for prosperous growth of plants. Chief agronomist only sets needed parameters of plant care from watering to the mode of ventilation.
Seeds are planted by machine. More precisely, the whole italian line designed exactly for this purpose. In each pot the robot plants exactly three seeds. 2 employees work on the line, checking the process of planting. About 3000 pots come out from here daily.
Then pots with salad seeds are put into the the special camera with perfect conditions. There they’ll stay for a day, during this time seeds have to germinate. By the way, long time ago in Russia the perfect place for germination of cucumber seeds was considered to be female breast. The ideal temperature regime of 37 degrees is observed right here.
The next stage for salad growth is the special tables inside which circulate water, enriched with trace elements. Salad seedlings need 9-12 days for growth, and usually passes a month before getting them to the store counters.
Now let’s move to the line of cucumber growing. We were told that in 2013 about 5 million kilogrammes of this kind of vegetable were harvested here. If we compare this data with the population of Samara, it means that every citizen ate more than a kilogramme of cucumbers from Teplichniy. Today this vegetable “factory” has above-average indications in Russia.
Teplichniy production is controlled by not only local specialists. Every 10 days the ‘representative’ of every kind of vegetable is sent to Sanitary epidemic station. Experts check whether the permissible level of nitrates is not exceeded and issue the certificate of quality for the tested batch. Cucumbers are grown here in two turns. It means that during one year employees of the greenhouse harvest two crops of cucumbers and grow new plants two times. First turn lasts from November till June, the second one from July till October.
Also we learnt one more interesting fact. Plants need carbon dioxide gas, which they take from the air. In winter windows in the greenhouse are not opened and plants may die without carbon dioxide gas. In order to prevent it, special balloons with gas are brought into the greenhouse and gas is sprayed in certain doses.
Our excursion ended in the special sector of Teplichniy. Here are placed greenhouses, the project of which was approved by I. V. Stalin himself. Greenhouses are considered to be the historical value, thay are protected, beautiful flowers are grown in which. Generally, in the production history is honored. There is a conference hall in the administrative building, where the atmosphere of the Soviet times is remained. Also the Order of the red banner of labor, which is stored under glass is treated with the special care. Just this Order let the kolkhoz of Samara in Soviet years use the dear word combination in its name “of Red Banner”.