July 4, 2009

Green Room helping Japanese expedition

The head of a Japanese expedition in the Antarctic says so-called Green Room growth techniques have proved invaluable to the researchers.

Expedition leader Shuki Ushio said the Japanese agricultural breakthrough that uses fluorescent lights to grow vegetables indoors has allowed expedition members to eat more than simple freeze-dried food products, Kyodo News reported Saturday.

I didn't think we could eat fresh crispy vegetables, Ushio said. I was very impressed.

Mirai Co. President Shigeharu Shimamura said the technology being used by the Antarctic team is based on the Green Room plant his company constructed in Tokyo in 2006.

Shimamura said vegetables grown via Green Room techniques can grow twice as fast as vegetables grown through more traditional outdoor cultivation efforts.

We harvest 300 heads of lettuce a day and a maximum of 20 harvests a year is possible, he told Kyodo regarding the techniques, which employ no agrochemicals.