In May 2020, Smithers-Oasis Korea began The Antarctic Project in collaboration with the National Institute of Horticultural Science and South Korea’s largest plant factory, Farm8. Their goal was to adapt the vegetable cultivation system to grow fruits and vegetables at the King Sejong Station Research Center located in Antarctica.
Fresh vegetables are delivered to the base from Chile every 2 to 3 months. These deliveries become less frequent in months when the weather is more severe. Under the cultivation system used in Antarctica, only leafy green vegetables are able to grow. Most fruits and vegetables need stronger lighting and more water than what is currently available at the research facility.
Based on the vegetables The Antarctic Project wanted to grow, Smithers-Oasis Korea suggested OASIS® Grower Solutions Horticubes® eS for the study. Horticubes® eS have disease reducing functions, making them ideal for use on the Antarctic base, and degrades by 86% in 90 weeks in anaerobic environments following ISO 15985. After repeated experiments, The Antarctic Project was able to improve the cultivation environment and grow cucumbers, peppers and watermelon.
Following the success of the production of fruit and vegetables, OASIS® Grower Solutions Horticubes® eS were shipped to Antarctica in early October 2020. By the end of the year, fresh fruits and vegetables began growing at the Antarctic base.