“Po Sekretu Vsemu Svetu” is a Russia-1 TV channel’s show mainly focused on traveling. Every week, the program presenters tell viewers not just about the most amazing places on the planet, but also about the people living and working there.
In the latest episode, the crew paid a visit to the town of Izobilny in Russia’s Stavropol Krai. As one of the local attractions, the authors told us about the “Solnechny Dar” greenhouse complex. Located close to the Solnechnodolsk settlement, it forms part of ECO-Culture agricultural holding. This enterprise, which specializes in the indoor cultivation of tomatoes, impressed the creators of the episode with its scale and technological sophistication. The presenter, Olga Kuzmina, talked to the greenhouse staff about the specifics and peculiarities of their work.
Yuri Kuchinsky, one of the complex’s agronomists or, as the program’s authors call him, a “tomato toiler”, gave an overview of the area occupied by the greenhouse and how many tomatoes are grown there. The production capacity of the company turned out to be truly spectacular, with 53 hectares of indoor soil and 37,000 tons of tomatoes produced annually. Just for you to estimate the scale, imagine 70 soccer fields all under a glass roof. To move around the premises, the complex workers choose bicycles and electric cars as environmentally friendly means of transportation. But even if you ride a bike, getting around the entire greenhouse will take at least three hours.
The vegetables produced here meet a great demand and are distributed all over the local networks of Stavropol Krai. Besides that, some part of those is exported to Moscow and Leningrad Oblasts as well. For year-round cultivation of tomatoes in such quantities while maintaining the quality indicators, the company implements cutting-edge and efficient modern methods. All the systems operate under the control of the central computer. Thus, supplementary lighting is switched on automatically depending on natural light conditions; irrigation, airing, and other operations are also carried out autonomously in accordance with the readings given by the sensors.
The presenter had a chance to see the end result of the smart system herself. Once she tried a cherry tomato picked right from a branch, there was no doubt that ECO-Culture’s vegetables are indeed juicy, sweet, and extremely tasty.
Not only people and the central computer are responsible for the environmental friendliness of the product, but also the bumblebee pollinators. The next place to visit was the biological laboratory: its head, Vladimir Chernov, told the guests about the year-round breeding of bumblebee families, which make the perfect natural pollinators for tomatoes. The natural fruit-bearing stimulation makes tomatoes appear smoother. It also boosts their viability, taste quality, and, most importantly, can significantly increase the yield.
The process of growing bumblebee progeny was explained by the laboratory employee Alla Polukhina. Young bumblebees are put in a special thermal chamber under infrared light. This way, in a simulated natural environment, they can grow and develop until they reach the right age. After that, the families are ready to be transferred inside the greenhouses directly.
The full version of the program episode is available on the Russia-1 YouTube channel.