SIMON FRASER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SIMON FRASER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Robert Irvine displays some of the strawberries he grows in his purpose-built hydroponics building - the Hydroponicum - at Achiltibuie, Wester Ross, north-west Scotland. Built by Irvine in 1983, the Hydroponicum has an orchard house, a temperate house & a hot house. Using entirely hydroponic techniques, Irvine grows strawberries, cucumbers, sweetcorn, peppers, beans, broccoli, herbs, vines, grapefruit & even banana trees - all at latitude 58 degrees north, half way between London & the Arctic Circle. The growing houses are enclosed with triple-glazed polycarbonate, which lets in light & warmth while giving the insulation of a 9- inch thick wall.
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