PlantGeek: Machine Learning and Aquaponics

Agricultural systems are complex. Data and machine learning can help. But how exactly? Believing something can be useful and knowing how are two different things. PlantGeek are applying data and machine learning to automate aquaponics systems. Continue reading PlantGeek: Machine Learning and Aquaponics

Bacteria and Biofilters Are Underrated

Could it be that the logical conclusion of controlled-environment agriculture is natural ecosystems? If controlled-environment agriculture is to become sustainable, it must be able to use waste as an input for nutrients. In 2016, the AVFami project group* realised that Continue reading Bacteria and Biofilters Are Underrated

A Floricultural Excursion

For the past month, I have been following one of Wageningen University’s flagship courses: Greenhouse Technology, given by Cecilia Stanghellini, Bert van ’t Ooster, and Ep Heuvelink. Last Thursday, we went on an excursion to three companies: Ter Laak Orchids, Ridder Growing Solutions, and Holstein Flowers. Continue reading A Floricultural Excursion

TEDxWageningenUniversity and 2018 in Review

It’s strange what can happen within a year. In September, a surreal surprise occurred when I got a presenting spot at TEDxWageningenUniversity in November. My talk was on AMI (aquaponics-mushrooms-insects) systems and how they can connect resource management to health. Continue reading TEDxWageningenUniversity and 2018 in Review

In Defence of Microgreens

I never really understood the point of microgreens. The whole point of this indoor farming movement, I thought, was to help meet our growing demand for food sustainably. And there were microgreens, calling themselves sustainable, whilst really being something that Continue reading In Defence of Microgreens

The Greenhouse Challenge Grand Finale

A few days ago, the Grand Finale of Wageningen University’s Greenhouse Challenge took place. It was a great day of discussing urban agriculture, showcasing new ideas, pitching, and celebration. Here’s my experience of that day. The Stand At 10 AM, Continue reading The Greenhouse Challenge Grand Finale

AMI’s Farm Lab and the First Vertical Farming Festival

At Aquafarm 2018, Zjef Van Acker had been talking about his latest brainchild, the Virtual Vertical Farming Lab (ViVe Farm Lab), an online platform for sharing data and knowledge. On the way back at the airport, he showed me some Continue reading AMI’s Farm Lab and the First Vertical Farming Festival

Recovering Nutrients: Environmental Technology and Attitudes

Closing the loop is what vertical farms should help us do. More specifically, vertical farms can be organs within their surroundings, turning nutrient-containing waste into high-value produce. One of the ways I am exploring this idea is by participating in Continue reading Recovering Nutrients: Environmental Technology and Attitudes

NVTL Studiedag

Last week, Nederlandse Vereniging Techniek in de Landbouw (Dutch association for technology in agriculture, NVTL) organised their annual Studiedag, a day filled with interesting tours and talks by people at the forefront of agricultural technology. This was an opportunity not Continue reading NVTL Studiedag