Chef Bob is back with Yahoo once again. This time, we're searching for the freshest ingredients you can get in Singapore.
In this episode, we visit Singapore-based agritech company Archisen to check out their unique vertically grown crops.
Chef Bob creates two dishes using freshly harvested ingredients from Archisen's flagship brand, Just Produce.
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CHEF BOB: Hi, guys. Welcome back to Bob's Gastronomical Trail with Yahoo. It's season three, and finally I am outside getting some sun. Ironically its during COVID. So right now I'm at Archisen to see how they produce high tech vegetables. Let's go baby.
OK guys, right now I'm in Archisen, where they produce salads like this. And with me is Zhi Heng, the farm manager for this whole operation. So Zhi Heng, what is actually Archisen, and what do you do over here?
ZHI HENG: Archisen is actually an Agritech company that specializes in hydroponics. We focus on controlled environment agriculture. We control the perimeters here in growing. From the humidity, to the lights, to the temperature.
So we ensure that our crops are grown in the most optimal environment. And from there, we can actually ensure that we grow out the most fresh, flavorful and nutritious produce here in Singapore.
So my job over here as farm manager in Commonwealth Greens is to manage our day to day operations in the farm. Be it growing, to production, and to fulfillment and logistics.
CHEF BOB: So why does this salad solar grow vertically and not horizontally like other conventional farms?
ZHI HENG: So actually here in Singapore, we are growing them in this vertical system, so it's actually much more dense compared to other conventional farms here in Singapore. So the same amount of space.
We can actually grow them much, much denser, and we get much more vegetables in the same small space. Compared to growing them, let's say, in a traditional farm.
CHEF BOB: Like how we are staying in the apartments in Singapore. We stack ourselves up, not stack ourselves horizontally.
ZHI HENG: It's actually is like a HDB of urban farming.
CHEF BOB: How long does it take to grow this kind of salad, right? And even onto the table for our home?
ZHI HENG: So actually most of our vegetables here take at least two to three months. So a lot of what goes behind growing a single head of lettuce to the tables of our customers. Yes.
CHEF BOB: So is this ready for harvest, this kind of salads?
ZHI HENG: Yes, so when they reach maturity. So this one is slightly smaller. They can grow for a bit longer. After they reach full maturity, they can be harvested immediately and consumed. Because we are a very clean farm, so actually all of the vegetables over here we can just harvest and eat straight away.
CHEF BOB: So Zhi Heng, thank you so much for this valuable knowledge. I learned a lot just by talking to you.
ZHI HENG: OK, come Bob, now time to get your hands dirty. Let's go, let's go try our hands on harvesting.
CHEF BOB: Harvesting?
ZHI HENG: Yeah, let's go, let's go.
CHEF BOB: Oh, I like the way you talk. Hands dirty. Talking to Zhi Heng has really opened my eyes to what modern technology can do for the humble veggie. I am hopeful that we can achieve our 30 by 30 food security goal, with companies like Archisen leading the front.