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Vostok Antarctic Station - Coldest Place on Earth Is Growing Tomatoes & Cucumbers

In a remarkable scientific achievement, Russian scientists at the Vostok Antarctic station have successfully concluded an experimental vegetable cultivation project, with amazing yields. Winter temperatures can drop as low as -75C, summer averages -25C.

Utilising advanced panoponica** technology inside their greenhouses, the team harvested an astonishing amount of produce per square meter: 100 kg of cucumbers, 149 kg of leafy cabbage, 29 kg of tomatoes, and 11 kg of sweet peppers.

Vostok vegetables

Source: AAHNN

The project's success can be attributed to the multi-level placement of phytotechnical complexes, a technique that dramatically increases productivity.

Director Alexander Makarov says the significance of this success cannot be understated.

'This season we achieved a record cucumber harvest of 16.5 kg per square meter in just 60 days', says Alexander Makarov. He also announced the upcoming launch of the new Vostok winter complex in early 2024, which will include a state-of-the-art greenhouse, providing polar researchers with a consistent supply of fresh vegetables and greens.

Vostok vegetables

Source: AAHNN

The scientific studies conducted at the station have confirmed the high efficiency of the developed plant cultivation technology, surpassing the results of contemporary greenhouses. The experiments also demonstrated the successful cultivation of leafy greens, with an annual yield of 60 to 90 kg of salad crops per square metre.

Creating favourable conditions for plant growth, the phytotechnical complex enables the cultivation of watermelons in the coldest place on Earth. The current focus extends to growing forest berries, such as blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries, with promising initial results.

'The new phyto-technical complex-3 will be sent to the Vostok station after we perfect the cultivation methodology for these forest crops," says Alexander Makarov.

Vostok new accomodation pods

Secure accommodation: an artist's impression of new living modules for Russia's Vostok research station in Antarctica

This groundbreaking endeavor not only provides fresh produce to polar researchers but also opens new possibilities for sustainable agriculture in extreme environments, potentially benefiting future space missions and arid regions on Earth.

**Panoponica technology is an advanced form of hydroponic farming. Hydroponics is a method of cultivating plants without soil, instead utilizing mineral nutrient solutions in a watery solvent, has been around for decades. Panoponica advances this concept further by integrating multi-level growing systems, sophisticated climate control, and innovative nutrient delivery methods to increase yield, efficiency, and sustainability dramatically.

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