Don’t You Guys Have Snails In America???

Day 10, Wednesday May 24th

Today we visited a company called Vitroflora that taught us about in vitro ornamental plant production . We were able to see all 6 steps of this process at their two facilities.

The first place we went we learned about the first 3 steps, first the jar sterilization and culture medium productions. The process is very sterile, preventing microorganisms to grow and this also allows the plants to develop in ideal conditions. There are both glass jars and plastic containers used to hold the plants in their first few stages. The culture medium is a replacement of soil, it contains all the nutrients that the plant needs to grow in its earliest stages of growth. Each type of plant had a special medium specific for their needs.

 

Second, we saw the cutting and placing of the plants. After the medium is prepared it was chilled for about a week before it moved to the next step where workers were placing small cuttings into the medium. The cuttings come from previous plants that aren’t going to get very big. After cutting if done they take to jars or plastic containers and place the cuttings in the medium. This part of the process is also kept very sterile, the cuttings are done on a new sheet of sterile paper each time they start on a new plant. The tools they use are also sterilized, between each cutting and placement into new medium, in very high temperatures.

Our third step at the first facility we were at is growth. All of the plants, after being placed in the medium, are put under lighting for several weeks. The lighting is changed based on the needs of the plant. At this point some will be moved for further growth, while others will be recycled for the cutting process.

The last step on before moving the plants to a larger facility for further growth is getting the plants ready for transportation. This step is done all by hand there are no machines to do any part of the packaging process or any of the steps before this. After they are very carefully packaged they are moved to the greenhouse operation that is about 30 miles away.

After the plants travel the short distance to the greenhouse the plants are moved to planting trays and then sit for a few weeks to allow for more growth to take place before moving them to larger trays. When they first arrive they are put into 100% humidity to speed up the growth process. The plants move through several greenhouses all with different climates. At the end of their time in the greenhouse they are again packaged very carefully for shipment all over the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After our tour was over we went out to the garden that was on their property. A few of the other girls and me found a huge snail and spent about 10 minuets maybe more looking him, when the doctoral student that was with us turns and says “don’t you guys have snails in America???”

After our adventure with the snails we headed back to Bydgoszcz to get dinner. While on our way to the city we went to our dorms to drop off the polish professor that went with us, and we picked up Sarah who had stayed back because she wasn’t felling well. We also got to meet Leszek’s wife which was a nice surprise (we didn’t actually  talk to her).

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