It’s been even longer, hasn’t it? I’m still here though. Perhaps I haven’t been blogging as much because as a researcher, the writer’s bandwidth I would have used here has been taken up by projects at work. Still, this evening I felt an itch to write a bit about what’s happened over the past year, and some plans for 2023 and beyond. Continue reading Hello 2023!
It is an honour to be having our first guest post here on Alex Grows Up. Over a year ago I met Cindy Achieng, who was a guest at our Toastmasters meeting. She later became a member and is now doing a fantastic job as the President of our club! Not only that – she has quite some experience in aquaponics. Cindy, the floor is yours… Continue reading Three Continents, Three Aquaponics Systems (Guest Post by Cindy Achieng)
The circular economy is something I was happy to see feature heavily at GreenTech 2020. It seemed to be on everyone’s mind when discussing sustainability, and there was even a dedicated session on it. The topic: vertical farming’s role in the circular economy. Continue reading Circular Urban Farming at GreenTech 2020
Achieving zero emissions in greenhouses is a big challenge. I’m not just talking about CO2 emissions. Greenhouses emit fertiliser and pesticides into the environment as well (see this article for more background on that). Water is only 2-3% of a Continue reading Water Usage in Zero-Emission Greenhouses
Energy efficiency is a big theme in greenhouse horticulture. I’ve called it the elephant in the room for vertical farming, but greenhouses have the advantage that most of their energy is free: solar energy. Still, a lot is being done on making the most of that solar energy and minimising fossil fuel consumption. A lot of that is in line with the circular economy as well. This is a summary of what four speakers at the energy session at GreenTech brought up. Continue reading Energy Efficiency at GreenTech
Priva is the market leader in high-tech greenhouse horticulture, with the long-term vision that comes with a family business. I’ve been following them for a few years now. In 2016 I spent two days at Priva and visited UrbanFarmers De Schilde and BrightBox in Venlo. Continue reading Working at Phil
Indoor agriculture is touted as sustainable, but it requires a lot of materials – plastics, rockwool, and packaging, for example. How can these be made more circular? Continue reading Biobased Materials: Where Should They Come From, Where Should They Go?
What should the broad vision be to achieve circularity? Circularity is a big theme on this blog. I usually talk about indoor agriculture, but the same concepts apply to our whole food system. At the NVTL’s conference, Martin van Ittersum gave a presentation on a compelling vision to achieve this. Continue reading Circularity, Livestock, and Nutrients
Back in 1947, computer science pioneer Alan Turing foresaw machines that could learn from experience. 73 years later, everyone seems to be yapping on about ‘big data’ and ‘machine learning’, as I have on this blog as well. Where conventional programming starts Continue reading LetsGrow Using Data in Greenhouses
Last week, Heeren XVII, the biosystems engineers’ society at Wageningen University, organised an evening featuring three companies in the greenhouse horticulture industry. The first of these was Ammerlaan Construction (known as Maurice Kassenbouw in The Netherlands and Belgium), presented by Continue reading The Untapped Energy in Water Vapour