GRANPA DOME Farming Beneath a Dome

Special Report : Farming Beneath a Dome

In our first “Special Report”, we take a look at a uniquely shaped plant factory, which is up and running in one of the devastated areas from the Great East Japan Earthquake. Within its dome is a circular vegetable cultivation stage.
This is a dome-type plant factory produced by a company named Granpa. Curly lettuce is grown inside this 29-meter diameter dome. A maximum of 14,000 heads of lettuce can be grown in one dome. The harvest varies according to the season, but roughly 250 to 400 heads of lettuce can be picked a day. For now, eight domes have been up and running since September 2012 at Rikuzen Takata Farm in Iwate prefecture. The company that developed them already had one operating in Kanagawa prefecture which is what led to the interest by Rikuzen Takata City. This dome allows the planting of seedlings while standing up straight, which is impossible when planting things outside. The strong point of the plant factory is that it can supply a stable amount of vegetables every day with a constant quality. Additionally, post-harvest work is also relatively easy, as the inside of the dome is always kept clean. The dome plant factory different from the square ones is the product of a number of ideas. It foretells the future of farming and also brings hope to the devastated areas.