What is DeliVerde?
DeliVerde is a family-owned, Turku-based company, which is renowned for its high quality herbs, lettuces and vegetables. Our garden has been a trendsetter in Finland for years as well as an award-winner grower of the highest quality produce. Its gardening operations have evolved over more than 20 years, so that everyone has the chance to enjoy high-quality, nutritious food.
What is grown in DeliVerde’s gardens
We raise some 30 different herbs and 10 different lettuces. In addition to these, we grow some fifty different vegetable varieties in open fields during the summer.
Where can I buy DeliVerde produce?
DeliVerde’s herbs, lettuces and vegetables can be purchased in K- and S-Group stores all over Finland.
We have worked together with numerous restaurants for years. You’ll find DeliVerde produce in several restaurants in the Turku and Helsinki area, among others.
How can I keep my lettuce longer at home? What about herbs? Where should I keep them?
Lettuce keeps best in the refrigerator. Herbs should be kept at room temperature so that they don’t freeze. Potted herbs are living plants, so they are sensitive to cold.
How are DeliVerde’s herbs and lettuces grown?
Herbs, lettuces and vegetables are grown in DeliVerde’s gardens with respect for the environment. Every day, we have four gardeners, a horticulturist and some thirty garden workers hard at work in our gardens. Many of the daily tasks, such as watering and packaging, are done largely by hand.
How environmentally-friendly is your cultivation?
For us, respecting the environment is of the utmost importance. Our gardens don’t produce any waste water at all, as we recycle every drop of water we use. We generate heat in our own heating plant, which runs on renewable energy, i.e. sawdust waste produced by the furniture industry. We only use biopesticides in our greenhouse. Biopesticides are living organisms that are used to control pests instead of chemical pesticides. We make effective use of natural sunlight and heat in raising our plants.
We’ve also taken a step in a greener direction by switching over to carbon-neutral waste management, in which we will receive a carbon credit for our carbon footprint. We only use renewable energy in our gardens.
Do lettuces grown in Finland need to be rinsed before eating?
No. Our lettuces and herbs are so pure that they can be eaten straight out of the bag. No chemical pesticides of any kind are used in cultivation.
How can I tell if lettuces and herbs are fresh?
The leaves of a fresh lettuce are crisp and crunchy as they are still turgid, i.e. there is water pressure in its cells. Also, the lettuce leaves will have a beautiful appearance and orientation. Fresh herbs will be wiry and have a beautiful appearance.
How does DeliVerde prevent food waste?
The amount of food waste generated by our gardens is minimal, as the cultivation of herbs, lettuces and vegetables is through and very carefully planned. We also have a diverse clientele and donate seconds directly to charity organisation Operaatio Ruokakassi. In addition to this, our resealable bags also reduce food waste, as the lettuces and rucolas stay fresh and crunchy in them longer.
How do you control pests in your greenhouses?
We don’t use any chemical pesticides whatsoever – only biopesticides. In other words, we get rid of pests by putting other organisms to work. DeliVerde’s own gardener, who specialises in biopesticide pest control, is tasked with overseeing the greenhouse operations. Biological pest control is more environmentally-friendly, effective and safer than chemical pest control.
Do you grow anything in open fields? Do you let fields lie fallow or use any other natural methods for enriching the soil, such as crop rotation?
A variety of vegetables and root vegetables are grown in DeliVerde’s gardens for supermarkets and restaurants. We grow different plants in different spots every year to keep the soil healthy. In other words, we rotate our crops. We always leave part of our field area fallow. Our open field farming is very small-scale. The peat and vegetable waste from the greenhouses is composted, and the resulting compost mulch is used on our fields. The mulch enriches the soil.
How do you fertiliser your herbs and lettuces? What do the fertilisers contain?
During the cultivation stage, we use fertilisers specifically tailored for each plant. The main nutrients in these fertilisers are nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous and minerals. Specifically tailoring fertilisers means that a fertiliser recipe has been optimised for each plant, thus ensuring that it gets just the right amount of nutrients it needs – not too much, not too little. We use Kekkilä fertilisers in our greenhouses and Yara fertilisers on our fields. Both are Finnish products certified in Finland.
How much of your production comes from greenhouses, and do you have some kind of water recycling in them?
90% of our production is raised in greenhouses. 100% of the water we use to grow lettuces, herbs and vegetables in our greenhouses is recycled. In other words, no water goes to waste.
Why aren’t DeliVerde lettuces and herbs packaged in some kind of biodegradable material instead of plastic?
Our long term goal is to entirely eliminate waste from our packaging. We are constantly exploring biodegradable materials, and hope to discover optimal solutions for our packaging needs. We haven’t yet been able to find the kind of biodegradable packaging that would properly keep lettuce. Our new resealable bags represent a step in this direction. The reusability of our packaging extends its useful life, thus reducing the amount of plastic waste. The bag is 100% recyclable. We also want to pave the way when it comes to packaging.
We hope that someday our customers will be able to buy lettuces and vegetables unpackaged – just straight into the customer’s shopping bag. We could see using a reusable and resealable lettuce bag that the customer can buy with the lettuce and then return for a deposit. After that, the same bag can be used whenever buying lettuce. Lettuces and vegetables are already being sold unpackaged at DeliVerde’s Salad Shops (Salaattishopit) in Turku and Jyväskylä.
Are your planting pots biodegradable? How are they recycled? If they’re not biodegradable, are there any plans to start using them at some point?
Our long term goal is to entirely eliminate waste from our packaging. We are currently testing biodegradable pots, but their decomposition time is quite long. We’re still looking for new alternatives that are more suitable for our needs.