In 2020, we celebrate two anniversaries: the 70th anniversary of our enterprise and the 20th anniversary of its recent history.
The history of our enterprise began a few years after World War II – in 1950. The question of the need for low-cost energy resources to ensure the vital activities of the region arose during the time of growth of the national economy in Leningrad and the Leningrad Region. The government of the country decided to develop peat deposits. Saint-Petersburg’s government has allocated tremendous resources: money, equipment and people. They even built a village specifically for the enterprise. In 1953, about 5,000 hectares of peat extraction area were put into the work. Almost all of the extracted peat is supplied to the thermoelectric power station of the Leningrad Region. After that some of the farms of the Tosnensky district became buyers, using peat both for open ground and as bedding for livestock.
It was a good time. We mined up to 500 thousand tons per season. Rarely any company produces more than 50 thousand tons nowadays.
The first peat boiling workshop was built in 1972, in which a four-chamber German press was installed. We boiled pure peat.People still remember that in the 70s and 80s the grocery store in Ryabovo was like a prototype of modern boutiques, because importers paid by various peasant goods for peat.
In the late 70s, when the Soviet Union began to actively produce and use gas, the decline of the enterprise began. Peat, as a fuel, began to lose relevance. Production volumes began to decline. The enterprise, and the entire industry, suffered a collapseIn the late 80s – early 90s. Production of peat has almost stopped. The next step was privatization, and it is good that the main resources assets remained intact until 2000. The OPF, the peat extraction section, the peat extraction and storage technologies, and finally and most likely, the professionals from the “old guard” remained. But unfortunately, the products manufactured by the enterprise were not needed by anyone. The century of production-oriented enterprises has ended, the century of sales and marketing has come. We needed products that were in demand on the market. That’s why we’ve started to produce peat substrates.
So, in the twenty-first century, a new history of the enterprise began. It was decided to build a new workshop and purchase new equipment. It required serious temporary and financial investments. That’s why only in 2004 a new workshop was launched. We bought the equipment for peat processing developed by the Canadian company “Premier Tech”, that was not cheap, but most advanced. It allowed us to produce complex substrates automatically.
In 2008, we completed the installation of an amateur soil production line that processes about 300 cubic meters of peat per shift. All production processes are controlled by computers in order to minimize the influence of subjective factors on production.
When the company was corporatized, the management decided to lease 972 hectares of wetland from the state. It is about 20% of the land that was previously used. These were areas where deposits of high-level sphagnum peat deposits were most suitable for the production of substrates demanded by modern greenhouse farms. This type of peat has a low degree of decomposition – from 10 to 25%, ash content of about 2%, acidity – 3-4%.
This land was not chosen by a chance. About 200 ha have not been developed yet. This is the so-called reserve for the future. It’s not a secret that peat is removed by layers and the deeper you remove, the higher the degree of decomposition is. We produce substrates for many crops from peat : vegetable, flowers. One of the most “moody” cultures is cucumber. It needs peat with the lowest possible degree of decomposition. A few years ago, we calculated that the existing area would be enough for us for 10 years, so that the degree of decomposition is “suitable” for the production of substrates for cucumber.
That time we decided to develop a new field. A few years ago, we commissioned about 30 hectares. Now we offer consumers peat for all types of crops. Employees of our agrochemical service develop the necessary recipes, including using peat with a decomposition degree of 8-10% according to requests from agronomists from greenhouses . The results of analyzes that we produce are considered official, since our laboratory was accredited in 2007. We have all the necessary instruments for substrate analytics, and the level of training of employees allows us to successfully carry out this work.
The main function of the agrochemical laboratory is a kind of “OTC function”. No order is sent to customers, without the permission of the laboratory.
These are small farms, large agricultural plants and greenhouse complexes. Here we promote the main principle: “The substrate is of the right quality, at the right time, in the right place.” In other words, one of the most important factors of our work is quality of service. We do not offer turnkey solutions, as many do. Our main service is developing a recipe for the substrate not only for the culture, but mostly for the agronomist, because we believe that they are some kind of artist. Everyone has their own vision of the process of growing crops. We substitute the substrate according to the exact schedule specified in the contract.
A separate place in the structure of our sales is occupied by work in the amateur market. Our soils under “Morris Green”(™) and “Good Helper”(™) brands entered the market in 2007. “Pelgorskoye-M” peat company is one of the few actively working, both in the professional and amateur markets. In 2010, we signed agreements with large retail chains and are still actively cooperating with such companies as OBI, Auchan, Okay, Domovoi, Baucenter and many others. we improve our own logistics. We improve our own logistics, by building partnerships with retail chains and then we use all the positive changes in working with greenhouse complexes.
Over the long history of our work, we have gained a lot of experience and skills, knowledge and technology. But our main assets are people. Our employees, our partners, suppliers and customers. We value our relationship and hope that it lasts for more than one year. After all, we have been together for so long.
Happy anniversary, peat enterprise!