Lycopene is part of the family of pigments called ‘carotenoids’ which are natural compounds that create the colour of fruits and vegetables. For example beta carotene is the pigment that give carrots their orange colour.
The Blush glasshouses span 20 hectares and produce over 19 million Blush trusses annually.
The Blush glasshouses are situated in the NSW town of Guyra which was chosen for having the best combination of sub 30°C days and high light intensity.
The glasshouses are wholly devoted to growing truss tomatoes in a naturally recyclable medium called cocopeat. They are also highly water efficient, requiring 90% less water than standard field tomatoes.
The glasshouses have 201,600 square metres of growing area (approximately eight AFL football fields!) and hold over 600,000 plants.
The glasshouses are made from:
- 2,800 tonnes of steel
- Approximately 144,000 panes of strengthened glass (2,800 tonnes of glass)
- 440km of heating pipe in the glasshouse containing 1,000,000 litres of water for heating
- 248km of irrigation hose
- 124km of hanging gutters
- 16km of underground piping
- 512km of crop wire
- 5920 steel posts
- Supports 2,700 tonnes of weight in plants, plus another 1,300 tonnes in hanging gutters and growing medium, totalling 4,000 tonnes of weight, excluding rainwater and snow
- Produces more than 72 million tomatoes. Side by side these fruit reach from Sydney to Perth and back as the crow flies.
- 10mm rain on the 20 hectare glasshouse will result in a run off of 2 million litres (2 megs) of water
- 400,000 cubic metres of soil and rock was moved to level a 20 hectare pad.
- Produces 20kg of Tomatoes in one year
- Has to be pollinated three times a week
- Grows 20cm in one week
- Holds 35–40 tomatoes at any time after picking
- Has to be picked twice a week
- Has to have three leaves removed every week
- Has to be lowered 20cm every week
- Grows one truss per week
- Has to be truss pruned each week
- Is grown in a natural recyclable growing medium
- Is grown with a combination of rainwater and Mountain Spring Water.
- Grows 1mm in size every 24 hours
- Takes 50–60 days to ripen
- Has 95% less pesticides used on it than field tomatoes
- 90% less water to grow than a field tomato
- 80% less fertiliser to grow compared to a field tomato.
- Has the best combination of cool summers and high winter light to produce the best tasting tomatoes
- Is at 1,330 metres altitude
- Is located between Sydney and Brisbane, 200km inland from Coffs Harbour
- Has, on average, less than two days per year over 30ºC
- Has a council that supports the Glasshouse
- Has people that support the Glasshouse.