"I've tried all kinds of ways to get the system working well," says Christ Monden of De Kruidenaer. This Dutch grower who cultivates herbs hydroponically is featured in the North Brabant (LIB) Agricultural Innovation Steering Committee's 25th-anniversary book. "I even replicated the tides. That didn't work at all. Now it's all running well."
A container of light
From 2012 to 2015, LIB was closely involved in developing this system technology. Christ began seriously pioneering in 2010, when he, supported by LIB, the agricultural association, ZLTO, and Proeftuin Zwaagdijk, started a trial growing crops on water. In 2016, the tomato-growing greenhouse was demolished, and a new one, specially equipped for hydroponics, was built.
"I remember we had a container of light in the greenhouse, which made the basil proliferate. We thought, 'that's going well,' but then received word from one of our overseas customers that the herbs in the tray were quickly turning to mush. We personally delivered a new shipment to them and quickly adjusted the cultivation," Christ reflects.
Gas price ceiling
Besides cultivation on water (and tunnel and open-field cultivation), the article mentions Christ's cooperation with Bakker Barendrecht. This is so close the buyer even speaks of a 'strategic interest.' In the midst of the energy crisis, both parties agree to set a price ceiling for the grower's gas, similar to how the government accommodates citizens.