Freshest vegetables you can get with high tech vertical farming

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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Video transcript

- Hi, guys. Welcome back to Bob's Gastronomical Trail with Yahoo. It's season 3. And finally, I am outside getting some sun. Ironically, it's 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 at 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 growing 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.

- So why does these salad 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 in Singapore. So in the same amount of space, we can actually grow them much, much denser. And we get much more vegetables in the same amount of space compared to growing them, let's say, in a traditional farm.

- Like how we are staying in apartments in Singapore. We stack ourselves up, not stack ourselves horizontally.

ZHI HENG: Precisely, it's like the HDB of urban farming.


- How long does it take to grow this kind of salads and 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 work goes behind growing a single head of lettuce to the tables of our customers. Yes.

- So is this already 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.

- 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.

- Harvesting?

ZHI HENG: Yeah. Let's go, let's go.

- 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.