A VEGETABLE farmer has reaped the rewards following a successful trial of a revolutionary Ukrainian irrigation system.
Supported by Menter Mon’s Tech Tyfu vertical farming project – based on Anglesey – Snowdon Valley Farm has tested the Adam’s Water technology over past months and seen a significant increase in the size, quality and yield of its fruit and vegetables.
Warren Priestley, who together with Len and Gareth Griffith-Swain launched the farm business (Fferm Cwm yr Wyddfa) in Waunfawr two years ago, says the process destroys complex compounds of mineral fertilisers for better availability of nutrition, accelerating plant growth and fruit ripening.
It also improves the quality of saline, irrigation water, reduces the harmful effects of hydrocarbons on the plant and could lead to a 10% increase in yield.
“We are incredibly honoured to have been the first farm in the UK to use the Adam’s Water technology and have noticed a difference in our produce, particularly the tomatoes and cucumbers,” said Warren.
“We split the polytunnel into two halves and on the side using this process there was on average a 10% increase in size, and much more with certain varieties.
“It has also allowed us to weigh the produce, check the data and feed that back; we saw an immediate impact and because the produce lasts longer and there is superior growth it allows you to push the season a little longer.”
He added: “We are a small operation, but this could work on a much larger scale, there is no limit to the effect this will have on the sector.
“It is so simple to install, you just plug it in to main supply, add water and fertiliser and the feed becomes almost super-charged, you get faster growing plants, they’re a better quality and more resilient.
“As a result, we’ve been able to experiment and try different things, and after taking the tomatoes – our Y Ddraig Goch (Red Dragon) variety is very popular – to local restaurants they could also see the benefits.”
Warren now plans to slowly increase their operation and eventually plant a ‘food forest’ featuring a combination of local and national varieties of fruit, vegetables, and microgreens.
“We want to attract visitors to the area and promote the ‘grow your own’ ethos, especially given soaring costs at the supermarket,” he said.
“The Adam’s Water system will definitely help us to realise that vision, and there’s no doubt it could help others too.”
Tech Tyfu Senior Project Officer David Wylie said the project – driven by Menter Mon and Business Wales – could be a game-changer for growers across the country.
“Warren has demonstrated that the technology works, in just a matter of months he was able to diversify, try different methods and compare the outcomes,” said David.
“This is a brilliant innovation and the team behind it are keen to collaborate with farms and growers, especially given reports indicate just 6% of fruit and veg sold in the public sector in Wales is grown in Wales.
“We want to increase that number and encourage more and more people to buy local, to support independent producers and embrace sustainability.
“Adam’s Water could be a real driver for that, reducing harmful effects of hydrocarbons on plants, increasing yield, and improving the quality of saline, irrigation water – it is an amazing concept, and it works.”
Vitalii But from Adam’s Water thanked Snowdon Valley Farm, Business Wales, and Tech Tyfu for demonstrating the system’s capabilities.
“In the expansive landscape of Ukraine, farmers have adopted the Adam’s Water system for the past two years and it has benefited various crops like cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and strawberries,” he said.
“Universally, all users have reported a significant boost in crop yield, improved disease resistance, and extended plant growth seasons. One Ukrainian farm even achieved a remarkable entry in the Ukrainian record book for the number of tomatoes harvested from a single bush, as a result of using this system – so it is making a very positive difference.”
Business Wales Relationship Manager Svetlana Ross added: “We take pride in our role in facilitating the introduction of this transformative technology, furthering our commitment to supporting new and existing businesses in Wales.
“We anticipate continued collaboration and the enduring success of the Adam’s Water system as it continues to revolutionise agriculture in the UK and on a global scale.”