Right from the start, Blokker has researched and implemented strategies and processes to be at the forefront of protected cropping and the growing of our particular crops . This includes researching options for eliminating or controlling any pests or disease in the bulbs, the soil and the crop and the most efficient and affordable way to complete these processes.
2013: Blokker invests in a 225 KW Vestas wind turbine. The energy generated is used to operate reverse cycle air to water heat pumps. These heat pumps heat and chill water to use in maintaining the optimum soil temperature. Energy use is carefully monitored with specially developed software for our nursery. The wind turbine generates roughly 30% of all our energy requirements.
2014: Blokker decides that in line with their IPM (integrated pest management) and sustainability policies, it was time to look at alternative fuels that are readily available in this region. Blokker wants to be an environmentally sustainable producer within the floriculture industry in Australia. For this reason, the 3 MW Steam Boiler has been modified to be able to utilize mill waste and other biomass like poppy and pyrethrum waste. This boiler is now used to generate steam for pasteurizing the soil as well as heating the growing areas and bulb processing sheds.
Pasteurising and steaming the soil like Blokker does, eliminates the use of insecticides for soil born nematodes. We also use beneficial insects/organisms that hatch in the soil, to control bulb mites,fungus gnats and thrips. Because of the controlled climate and design of the greenhouses, the use of crop protectants is significantly reduced.
2017: Blokker decides to turn to solar energy. With the advantages of reduced electricity bills, low maintenance and reducing gas emissions to help the environment there was no reason for Blokker not to do it. A quick look at how solar energy works: photovoltaic cells convert sunlight to direct current electricity. The inverter converts that into alternating current electricity. The electrical panel sends power to the lights and machinery. Solar power makes a lot of sense for Blokker as when it’s sunny you use more electricity keeping the flowers and bulbs cool in the coolrooms.