LishaBora: Winning the fight against mold

The mold helped us make friends with pigs—but we were losing up to 30% of our seeds.

This is a guest post from Graham Benton, venture leader of LishaBora Hydroponics. It originally appeared on LishaBora’s website.

We have been busy doing business with the Devil. While it may seem extreme, for March and April, mold, specifically white Aspergillus, has been turning our beautiful, lush fodder into stinky, cesspool-like goo that we are using to get on the better side of some of the neighbourhood pigs. While we made good friends with pigs, it cost us a lot: 20-30% of all the seeds we plant were being lost to molds.

In order to combat this mold, we have done a lot of research and have decided that the best way to fight it is to make an environment that it does not thrive in. Most people are in agreement when they say that mold does not prosper or grow when the humidity is below 70%. The best way to reduce humidity is ventilation and removing the water source. Relative humidity is determined by how much water the air can hold and how much water is in the air.

In order to reduce the humidity of the greenhouse, we have cemented the floor, built a gutter system to collect water, put a new (non-leaky) roof on, altered the design of the greenhouse in order to maximize evaporation and venting including raising the roof by three meters. All this, on top of a complete overhaul of our routines, has greatly reduced the humidity and is winning the fight with mold.

Check out more news from Graham and the LishaBora team—including their current yields and a new hire—on the LishaBora blog.

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