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Growing vine crops without daylight is possible. Here, there and everywhere...

"In an indoor grow without daylight, you can eliminate all stress factors for a plant. If you know the ideal growth conditions, the production can be optimized and the growth and yield can be predicted beforehand. Then also the growth of fruit vegetables in a controlled environment without daylight, can be made profitable." That's the vision of the team of Here, There & Everywhere. With the technical knowledge of Priva and a lot of botanical knowledge, the Dutch company produces and supplies turnkey indoor cultivation projects anywhere in the world.


Marc Kreuger

Profitability
It takes a moment to adjust when you enter the Here, There & Everywhere module. Instead of red, far red, blue or other color LEDs, the tomato plants here grow only under red and blue LEDs. "Far red light results in stretching of the plant," says Dr. Marc Kreuger, Head Innovations, who was previously employed by Syngenta for 26 years. "We just want to keep the internodes short, so no far red light." Last year it resulted in a 4 meter tall tomato crop with stems of 8 meter, well suited in the privately owned module on the Priva site. "To meet the desired production we need to get more stems/m2. We worked with a density up to 9 stems/m2, instead of 3 or 4, as is usual in greenhouse horticulture."

This unusual strategy is characteristic of the vision of cultivation without daylight from Here, There & Everywhere. "Most developers of indoor cultivation relate to the knowledge they have of the greenhouse and try to imitate those conditions. They create day- and night rhythms, and work for example with an evening or morning dip, so this we absolutely don’t do", says Marc. "Plants do not like nature at all. The great benefit of growin a crop without daylight is that you are not influenced by external conditions. This is the emancipation of the plant. You can eliminate all the factors that are stressful for a plant."



In recent years, Here, There & Everywhere has researched what would be the ideal growth conditions and how to realize them for high-wire crops, such as tomatoes. Fifty percent of the company is owned by Priva and the other fifty by Gertjan and Lianne Meeuws, co-founders and former CEO of PlantLab.

"We combine Priva's technical knowledge with the botanical knowledge of Lianne, Gertjan and myself," explains Marc. This knowledge combination resulted in the current system. "The space is optimally designed to have the air moving continuously in a laminar direction. A horizontal airflow is realized, so the air quality and flow rate are the same everywhere: nowhere in our modules is there a temperature difference or a moisture deficiency." With these possibilities, the ideal growth conditions for each crop can be realized. "We optimize the cultivation conditions, we impose the desired evaporation on the crop and provide all the nutrients for the production of fruits. This results in a harvest of 2 to 3 times as much per m2 compared with greenhouse cultivation."


The same goes for tomatoes, as can be seen in the photo, taken end of last year.
 
Revenue calculation
On this basis, the entire cultivation can be predicted in advance, according to Marc. And not only that: also the yield can be calculated. "The evaporation is known, as well as the production of dry matter and how many fruits can be generated by it, so you know what kind of price per kg you need," Marc explains. According to his calculations, after the well-known cultivation of lettuce and herbs in indoor areas, now also the cultivation of tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, is commercially interesting.

It's a second key point in the business practice of Here, There & Everywhere: It's not just about supplying an indoor cultivation project, but it's about supporting the various processes and parties involved. "We are seeing three distinct roles in setting up an indoor cultivation project. There is the owner, an operator and a marketing partner. We can support all three." This also was the case at the first indoor cultivation project of Here, There & Everywhere, which by now has been completed in North America. After that, Africa is on the list, but we are also preparing projects in Europe, in the Middle East and in Asia. "It's a fully modular system of which we build the vital components ourselves in De Lier and then transport them to the project for installation together with a local party. In fact, from now on the complete installation can basically be copied by us. We are on a mission. There is a lot of work to be done!", Marc concludes.


For more information:
Here, There & Everywhere
Zijlweg 3
2678 LC De Lier
The Netherlands
www.here-there-and-everywhere.com

Publication date: 4/27/2017
Author: Arlette Sijmonsma
Copyright: www.hortidaily.com

 


 

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