The first greenhouse cucumbers of the season were harvested in the Netherlands yesterday. "We started with traditional cultivation three weeks ago already. But as of yesterday, our high-wire cultivated cucumbers are also available. They're 100% 'On the Way to PlanetProof' too," says John van Lieshout of Valstar. "We've worked hard over the past few months. We've built a new greenhouse at our grower's site. It doubles that location's acreage."
"We're using high-wire cultivation in the new greenhouse. This method ensures more uniform cucumbers and consistent quality. We also have a new grading machine. It checks the cucumbers for weight, length, color, and curvature. We can, therefore, meet client demand."
"Sustainable cultivation is another important point. The greenhouse is heated with geothermal energy. That saves up to 90% on natural gas. The large blue silo is located next to the greenhouse. The geothermal heat stored there isn't solely for our own use. Other businesses in the area also draw from it," says John.
"The greenhouse has more than just a geothermal heat pump, though. It has polycarbonate glass and double screens. So, 40% of the heat in the greenhouse is saved. The solar panels on the structure's roof generate power too."
"We've also installed a circular water system. It collects, filters, and reuses rainwater and water returned from the greenhouse. Plus, the grower already uses 98% organic pesticides. All the CO2 used for feeding the plant is green as well. That means these cucumbers are certified with the "On the way to PlanetProof" quality label. Cucumbers don't get any greener than this," concludes John.