Tomatoes grown on cow dung and food waste are ready for stores – NRK Westfold and Telemark – Local News, TV and Radio

Tomatoes grown on cow dung and food waste are ready for stores – NRK Westfold and Telemark – Local News, TV and Radio

At Den magiskes fabrikken in Tønsberg, food waste from 1.2 million households is mixed with garden waste and livestock manure from the surrounding area.

Biogas, manure water and manure are released.

Compost with mineral and vermicompost becomes the soil for growing tomatoes in greenhouses.

– The usual thing is to grow tomatoes in stone wool and add synthetic fertilizers to the water, says Bjørnar Bjelland, project manager at Reglima.

Bjorner Bjelland, project manager at Reglima, is delighted that the tomatoes have finally hit the shops

Photo: Philipp Hofgaard / NRK

Both bumblebees and parasitic wasps fly around him in the greenhouse. They ensure that the tomatoes are pollinated.

In the soil, earthworms work to convert compost into food for tomatoes.

Their aim is to deliver 60 tonnes of tomatoes to the shops this year.

They are betting on 75 tonnes next year.

Food waste becomes bio-compost

Food waste becomes fresh food from large parts of Australia.

Photo: Tordis Goutblas / NRK

Reliable support

This circular food production system was “invented” by NASA for a future human habitation on Mars.

So far, it has been tested and researched in a closed system.

Now it is found in commercial production in Westfold, completely normal horticulture.

Crown Prince Haakon among hanging tomatoes in the greenhouse

While they are testing and doing research, both politicians and royal doctors have visited the greenhouse.

Photo: Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen

Norgesgruppen has a contingency fund that supports solutions for how Norway can produce food in an environmentally friendly way.

The tomato project in Kjær gard has received support of NOK 4.6 million.

Energy director Signe Bunkholt Sæter is excited that they are already seeing results.

And not least that they can taste them.

– It’s like a taste explosion, she says when she puts the first tomato in her mouth.

Would you like to buy these tomatoes at the store?

Price and taste are paramount

Berekraftfondet’s mission is to advance results that can provide new solutions for food production.

Sater says that taste and price are the most important things for the customer.

These tomatoes are about the same price as organic tomatoes, says Ivar Hagemoen.

He is the day-to-day manager of Reglima and his job is to transport the products to the stores.

Cherry tomatoes hang in bunches

Ripe tomatoes will hit the market soon.

Photo: Philipp Hofgaard / NRK

Can be organic

Farmer Martin Danielsson has been growing organic tomatoes for a long time in his greenhouse in Kjær Kard.

Avidly follows all the new things happening now.

– It’s like what I’ve been doing all these years, only in a more modern way, he says.

Farmer Martin Danielson sits on the grass in his yard.  A barn in the background

Farmer Martin Danielsson in Kjær gard farms organically, but says the new circular system is much better.

Photo: Philipp Hofgaard / NRK

In fact, it is very old. Manure, manure from cattle and earthworms have also been done before.

– Says you have to get your hands dirty by touching the soil like in the old days.

When the tomatoes are harvested, the tomato plants are sent back to compost, and then the process begins again.

Researcher Kettle Stokeness has a PhD in circular food production and has previously been part of the project.

He thought that such greenhouses could grow all kinds of food except potatoes and grains.

Now the theory becomes practical.

Farmer Martin Danielsson at Kjær Farm gives hay to the horses in the pasture

Farmer Martin Danielsson has run Kjær Gard for many years.

Photo: Philipp Hofgaard / NRK

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