Growing bananas with surplus heat from biogas energy generation
“Yuumu Farm” located in the Kamisahoro area of the town of Shintoku in eastern Hokkaido successfully grew hydroponic melons using surplus heat from livestock manure biogas energy generation. Now they are trying their hand at cultivating bananas, a tropical fruit, under the desire to, “Dare to dream of growing an awe-inspiring fruit.”
The bananas are being grown in greenhouse facilities with the temperature controlled through the use of the surplus heat, and harvest is scheduled for September. Banana growing is very rare in Hokkaido, and these bananas are expected to become a new specialty item for Shintoku.
Ten banana tree seeds of four types were planted in the large greenhouse facilities at the farm last summer. The strains include “apple bananas,” which are famous in Hawaii, and “Gros Michel bananas” with edible peels
The greenhouse is protected by triple-layer plastic covering, and hot-water piping heated with the surplus heat has been laid within the facilities. The greenhouse interior temperature has been maintained at above 5 degrees Celsius in the winter and 30-40 degrees Celsius from spring through summer. The banana trees have grown two to three meters in this environment. Their flowers bloomed in May and bananas started to grow on them in June. Currently fifty to sixty green bananas are hanging like tassels, as if hiding in the large banana tree leaves, awaiting their ripening season in autumn.
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