How energy-smart technology is allowing fresh vegetables to be grown in arid, isolated communities. Our Future of farming series is looking at the people, places and innovations in sustainable agribusiness in Australia

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Sydney Fresh, Organic Angels, Freshline, Box Fresh. It’s a wonder Australian supermarkets still stock vegetables, such is the explosion of veg-box delivery services. OK, they may be a bit on the pricey side, but the food is out-of-the-ground fresh, typically free of chemicals and refreshingly wonky.

But for a veg-box scheme to work, the vegetables have to be grown locally. That effectively ruled out the arid wheatbelt towns of Western Australia. Or, it did, before Wide Open Agriculture opened a huge greenhouse-like facility to grow fresh vegetables. Boxes destined for domestic doorsteps have been leaving the Wagin-based site loaded with cucumbers, capsicums, tomatoes and the like.

Because we don’t rely on soil, we can ​position our farms​ closer to centres of population

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