The ESS Northern Lights Lounge at Aberdeen International Airport has introduced a new hydroponic pod to grow micro cress and greens for its menu. Opened in 2017 as part of the £20m terminal transformation project, the lounge is continually seeking new ways to introduce healthy, sustainable ingredients for customers.
The hydroponic unit, called a Kube, allows the lounge to grow a range of products which its chefs can use to enhance the flavour, aroma and presentation of dishes. Recipes specifically designed using the Kube will be offered as part of the menu. The units are remotely managed by Bloomkubes as part of a partnership with ESS Energy. Bloomkubes is a modern agritech company that has developed a range of self-contained farm to fork hydroponic units using a system of soilless plant cultivation that delivers water, nutrients, and oxygen to the roots of plants in precise cycles. The micro cress and greens being grown in the units have been developed by Koppert Cress, a Dutch company based in the Netherlands. Key benefits of the hydroponic pod are that it is pesticide free, with all products being grown in carefully controlled facilities eliminating the need for chemical pesticides, and it saves water as the Kube recycle approximately 90-95% of the water compared to conventional farms. The approach also eliminates delivery mileage and plastic packaging as the products are grown on the premises.