Delegates attending the Hydroponic Farmers' Federation (HFF) took part in farm tours on day two of the event, visiting a nursery that is powered by a biomass boiler and Chrysanthemum production facility.
Haars Nursery supplies Australian retailers and growers with, quality flowering indoor and outdoor plants shrubs and an extensive range of herbs and vegetables - including popular and unusual herbs, a range of Hot Head Chilli, a premium selection of Tomato varieties and a broad selection of Super Foods.
"Some of our main customers are the retail chains," General Manager Brendan Haar said. "We have been doing this for 35-40 years. One of our brands is Food for Life and we also do the diggers heirloom range - as well as the top 20 herbs and vegetables that people grow; like basil, coriander, parsley and a tomato range as well."
Delegates also learnt about the biomass boiler, which powers three greenhouses on-site, and Mr Haar says that has allowed the company to focus on its individual investments.
"It is a new technology, it is green technology, it is sustainable and a move away from natural gas," he said. "The heat is good, consistent and we are really fortunate to have such a strong heating supply."
Future of Australia's Chrysanthemum industry looking strong
Scott Slykerman, Production Manager at Chrysco Flowers also told the HFF Delegates that the future of the industry is trending in the right direction.
"Demand is growing, as it always is," he said. "The COVID has been good to the local flower trade in terms of demand. There has been quite a lot of focus on locally grown products, due to inconsistencies in the imported product. That is good for us as a company."
Chrysco Flowers is a year-round glasshouse Chrysanthemum grower east of Melbourne in Victoria, with production highly automated, and up to 80 varieties per week.
"It is a continuously evolving selection of varieties to try and keep up with trends," Mr Slykerman said. "We increase the quality and consistency as well as the overall yield.