The greenhouses of Monsieur Basilic are owned and operated by Dino and Maryse Constandinou. They have been growing vegetables since 1994 and own two farms with more than 75 varieties of lettuce, herbs, oyster mushrooms and vegetables of all kinds. Much of their production is sold to restaurateurs, delicatessens and major food chains. The rest they have fun transforming into high-end products for Mediterranean food lovers.
In 2015 Dino sought to take his production potential up a notch and his timing couldn’t have been more serendipitous. Our participation in a research project focused on basil at the University of Guelph’s Controlled Environment Research Facility (CESRF) had just concluded!
For this project, we selected two different LED-light spectrums from the research that collectively, we believed held the key to benefiting both taste and morphological development of basil as a supplementary light to sunlight.
Most supplementary to sunlight LED-light systems consist of a high red spectrum light with some blue light. However, from the CESRF research, we learned that plants readily adapt to any light spectrum combination but are not as adaptable to spectral changes. We therefore arranged the Monsieur Basilic installation using two light spectra with proven performance in controlled environment production and adapted these qualities towards the broadband natural sun spectrum in order to minimize the plant's barriers between light spectrum changes in the morning and evening.
Plant production system,
Food Production, LED Lights
Monsieur Basilic’s greenhouse basil arrangement can be perceived as a forerunner to today’s vertical farming setups. Pots of basil arranged in narrow hydroponic benches in 4 levels, allowing sunlight to filter through and down to the main bench level. Young plants start at the top and shuffle down through the system as they mature.
The Monsieur Basilic greenhouses were owned and operated by Dino and Maryse Constandinou from 1994 to 2019. They grew 75 varieties of lettuce, herbs, oyster mushrooms and vegetables of all kinds. Much of their production was sold to restaurateurs, delicatessens and major food chains and the rest they had fun transforming into high-end products for Mediterranean food lovers. The decision to close the farm was not easy but a new business plan and direction for the greenhouse infrastructure is presently under construction.