Rolten Case Study

Derek & Christine Rolten

In 2006 Neville Stocker was fortunate enough to meet Derek and Christine when they were considering a hydroponic lettuce growing operation at their Quarry Road property.

From the start it was apparent that anything they do is done to the best of their ability and to a high standard. Their system has become somewhat of a "show piece" for Neville as there are very few places maintained to this high standard, and producing what is considered to be a high quality product at a high yield per square metre, even on the world stage.

Neville was involved when the project was just a field of grass, and assisted Derek and Christine with everything from system design through to installation, water treatment, nutrient, lighting and heating/cooling.

The water supply is a very important consideration for any hydroponic venture, and the supply on site is very good, combining rain caught from the roof, with a close by river supply that is low in dissolved salts. The combination is then treated with a quality Ozone gas and filtration system to give "bottled water" quality.

The seedling production area is of good quality also. This ensures that even when weather conditions are changeable the system still has a good supply of quality seedlings to ensure the "holes" are always full. The outdoor herb production area has tables/structures of very good construction (probably the best I have seen) to cope with the elements. These were a later addition to offer the ability to have a better mix of crops.

The main greenhouse is broken into two systems. This offers flexibility of crop (two different formulas and crops could be grown), and also isolation of risk were anything untoward to happen. If a remedial treatment with a withholding period was required, the other system can be harvested from, while the system waits. The overall layout from seedlings into the system and then through to packing, chilling and dispatch, cleaning of gullies, through to re-planting, is all well thought out, and laid out to minimize double handling, and encourage the best procedures. (Cleaning of gullies before re-planting etc).

This operation is an outstanding example of what can be achieved with hydroponics when excellent planning and management are involved.

"Neville has been our consultant over the last six years and has solved many problems for us over that time. We have found Neville to be very knowledgeable and excellent to deal with giving great advice and service. We cant speak highly enough of Neville and thank him for always making himself available to us at all times."Derek and Christine"