Elevating a greenhouse is a sight to behold. Lifting an entire construction being lifted with pneumatic jacks? Very impressive. In this particular case it's Maikel van den Berg's company, Wilgenlei, that's up in the air. In this greenhouse he will switch from bell pepper cultivation to seed propagation. 

The elevation is necessary to provide enough height for this new crop: a 6 meter greenhouse offers more control. Work started at the end of September and the project should be ready at the beginning of November, says Ad Kokshoorn of T.C. v.d. Dool, who takes care of the elevation process. 

"The greenhouse is raised from 4.5 to 6 meters. The new 1.5 meters at the bottom is closed off with insulated sandwich panels. The glass of the side walls is equipped with roller screens that also have a darkening effect. The entire building is undergoing a metamorphosis in terms of design. The 3.7 hectare greenhouse will be redesigned with intermediate facades, resulting in ten separate departments."

Spreading risks
"The greenhouse is pretty crooked right now. But long live the straps!" laughs Maikel van den Berg. "It's like you're in a new greenhouse." Maikel continues to grow bell peppers in his other greenhouse, but in this greenhouse he will work on seed propagation.

He does this together with Roy Persoon under the name MR Seeds. Maikel: "As a young entrepreneur, it is important to spread your risks. With the Brexit looming and the uncertainty that world trade entails, you don't have the guarantee that sales will continue as smoothly as right now. I think that business security is very important." Maikel sees further opportunities for collaboration. "In addition to the seed propagation that we are going to do together, we can also reinforce each other in bell pepper production. Together our companies cover 12 hectares."

Several suppliers are contributing to the project at the Wilgenlei. Stolze is responsible for water, electricity and lighting. A blackout screen is placed by PDI Screens and West.Neder.Land supplies the sandwich panels.

For more information:
T.C. van den Dool