Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

You are using software which is blocking our advertisements (adblocker).

As we provide the news for free, we are relying on revenues from our banners. So please disable your adblocker and reload the page to continue using this site.

Click here for a guide on disabling your adblocker.

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber
De Kruidenaer:

Inspired by growers abroad, Dutch herb grower expands hydroponic cultivation

Dutch herb grower De Kruidenaer is expanding the cultivation of herbs on water next year. The company of Christ and Jacqueline Monden from Etten-Leur now covers 25 hectares, with a 1 hectare hoop greenhouse and 4 hectares glass. In that greenhouse there is 1 hectare of basil grown in floaters. Next year the cultivation on water under glass will be expanded with 1 hectare of mint crop as well.

Grower Christ Monden keeps busy. A major customer emailed this morning saying that he would like an additional ten thousand basil containers today, tomorrow and the day after. The entrepreneur does not find this strange: “It will be sunny and that means more demand for basil. The weather determines everything."

The entrepreneur from the province of Brabant runs his company De Kruidenaer with his wife Jacqueline. He does mostly everything to do with cultivation. She covers the administration and trade.

Besides his 1 hectare hoop house, the basil under glass and the mint with which he will be expanding next year, he grows more than 26 varieties of herbs outside: from dill to chocolate mint.

Herb cultivation

Monden conducted several tests to optimize cultivation. A 'chance' encounter at the Greentech fair in Amsterdam led to a breakthrough. There he ran into a horticulturist who also grows herbs on water, not in the Netherlands but abroad. Monden: "I boldly said that I’d come take a look." 

That visit convinced the Monden couple how they wanted to approach things. "He was doing everything I wanted. We had done tests ourselves, with little progress. Before we got home we had decided: that’s how we're going to do it.”

Little emission
The business owners considerably scaled up their cultivation on water in the greenhouse, from a couple of hundred meters to 1 hectare of basil. Cultivation on water is not entirely new. Earlier attempts have been made in greenhouse horticulture. In recent years, PPO in particular has been doing a lot of research, including for field vegetables. A major reason is that cultivation on water has little emission of fertilizers and plant protection products.

Monden had the benefits for his company examined by students from HAS Hogeschool in Den Bosch. With cultivation on water, significant reductions are possible in the use of water, soil, energy and plant protection products. To date crop protection consists only of plant enhancers.

The innovative entrepreneur places quality and taste over yield. "It's not about the last ounce. That often gives more work or lesser quality. It’s about a good product giving little trouble harvesting and packing."


Cultivation on water is better controllable than growing in the ground, but it has its limits. Monden: "People forget sometimes that you don’t pull herbs out of a machine," he says. Along with his head grower, Monden is busy day and night to take the cultivation on water and the logistics around it to a higher level, step by step.

De Kruidenaer has several large customers: supermarkets, restaurants and manufacturers. For them it does not matter whether the product grows on water or in soil, says Monden, as long as the quality is good. The day’s herb harvest is in the supermarket’s distribution center in the evening and usually at the store in the course of the next day.

The entrepreneur finds himself on the right track with the cultivation on water through 'trial and error'. "But we're not there yet."

Publication date: