Rijk Zwaan Promex, San Jose Inturbide, Guanajuato, Mexico, coaching

Rijk Zwaan Promex produces seeds in San Jose Inturbide, in the state of Guanajuato in Mexico. The purpose-built seed nursery is located at an altitude of 2,050 meters, thus having perfect conditions for year-round seed harvesting, in particular for tomato and peppers.

Rijk Zwaan reached out to The Conscious Farmer to review their pest control strategy and develop a year plan for biological pest control including preventative and curative measures. Without the use of synthetic chemical interventions, the quality and resilience of their seeds will improve. So, the aim is to reduce chemical interventions to the minimum possible.

Rijk Zwaan also expresses interest to look at the biological vitality of growing substrates and the impact of the substrate biome on root quality.

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Glade Groensager, Denmark, coaching

Glade Groensager is a greenhouse company with several locations in Denmark. They produce cucumbers, snack cucumbers and several different kinds of tomatoes, peppers and eggplants, both conventionally and organically.

The expertise of The Conscious Farmer we offered to Glade Groensager covers all major aspects of a modern (organic) greenhouse operation. This includes but is not limited to biological pest control, climate control, soil and substrate conditioning and fertilization, plus the management of labour and costs.

The company’s management also expresses interest to understand more about the quality of compost and compost teas.

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Western Sydney University, New South Wales, Australia, technical input in masterplan study

Western Sydney University is in the process of establishing a six-hectare Agri Tech Hub at the University’s Hawkesbury campus. This will include a high-tech industry partnered greenhouse array, supported by industry engaged research clusters in food technology, land use management and consumer demand.

It is all about developing a sustainable approach to future peri-urban farming, infused with state-of-the-art agricultural technology and featuring co-location space for industry and research.

The consultants of The Conscious Farmer are part of a multidisciplinary team lead by Arup consulting engineers. We provide technical input in the concept masterplan study sharing practical experience and expertise in the planning and design of agri-food clusters and modern sustainable agri-food production systems.

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Mr Lucky, Mexico, coaching and training

Mr. Lucky is a 100% Mexican owned company, with more than three decades of experience in production, development, marketing, and distribution of 100% organic year-round fresh vegetable products. All produce is processed and marketed with the highest quality standards. The company is continuously expanding its organic greenhouse production capacity; by early 2023, Mr Lucky is cultivating a total of 50 hectares.

The Mr Lucky team is seeking the expertise of The Conscious Farmer, to learn on all aspects and to develop a robust and effective approach to biological pest and disease control in its operations. This includes the eradication, prevention and control of the Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRFV).

NatureSweet, Mexico, coaching and training

NatureSweet is an agriculture company that is based in the USA and operating in Mexico. The company is continually working towards creating the best impact for their people, their products, and planet Earth. NatureSweet is focused on the production of greenhouse tomatoes. They produce year-round on 600 hectares greenhouses on five different locations. All production is based on coco peat substrates. The company is now experimenting with locally sourced substrates to avoid future supply disruptions.

The NatureSweet team reached out to The Conscious Farmer to exchange experience and expertise, and is actively implementing our protocol for the eradication, prevention and control of the Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRFV).

Singapore Food Agency, benchmarks for modern sustainable agri-food production

The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) announced plans to masterplan about 390 hectares of land in the Lim Chu Kang area of Singapore. The aim is to create a high-tech, highly productive, and resource-efficient agri-food cluster to achieve a target of 30% self-sufficiency by 2030. This national vision is often referred to as “30 by 30”.

The Conscious Farmer was part of a multidisciplinary team lead by Arup consulting engineers. Our consultants provided technical input in the pre-planning study:
Providing global productivity and resource efficiency benchmarks of high-tech production systems in vegetable, mushrooms and seafood production systems;
Sharing practical experience in the design of agri-food clusters and modern sustainable agri-food production systems;
Identifying opportunities and constraints for co-location and shared services such as water and waste treatment systems;
The design for active and passive biosecurity measures.

Heenat Salma Farm, Qatar, experiment

The Conscious Farmer is involved in a pilot project at the 100% organic Heenat Salma Farm in Qatar. The company aims to build living soils in a dryland country, through the development and application of biologically active compost, compost teas and biotic boosters.
Living soils are urgently needed to make agriculture sustainable, in both organic and conventional production systems. Living soils hold water and nutrients and feed and protect plants in natural ways reducing the needs for external input.

The Heenat Salma Agri team is learning how to create the conditions for the soil to become vitalized with the broadest spectrum of microbiology of the soil biome, that feed and protect their crops in natural ways.

Nordic Greens, Sweden and Denmark, coaching

Nordic Greens is the largest tomato supplier in Denmark and Sweden , operates about 30 hectares of greenhouses, by 2023 including 2 hectares of lettuces. It supplies supermarkets with 20,000 tonnes of tomatoes a year. The company has enormous care for its tomatoes, and the environment is very close to its heart. Nordic Greens thus lets bumblebees pollinate the tomato flowers and uses beneficial insects to control any pests in the greenhouses. The heating is done exclusively using waste heat, they preferably irrigate with collected rainwater, and only use recyclable cardboard and plastic for their packaging.

Nordic Greens is seeking the expertise of The Conscious Farmer on all aspects of a modern organic greenhouse operation including, but not limited to: soil and substrate quality, fertilisation, and biological pest control; in particular the strategy and the management of costs.

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BioVerbeek, Velden in Limburg, Netherlands, coaching and training

BioVerbeek is a modern organic horticulture company, supplying organic products to health food shops and supermarkets at home and abroad.
The Verbeek family has been active in horticulture for generations. The three brothers started as conventional growers in the late 1970s. Out of shared idealism, they decided to convert the existing farms to organic cultivation. This was at the end of 1997. BioVerbeek cultivates in the open field and uses compost and compost tea made from their own plant waste. BioVerbeek manages a total of 10 hectares of greenhouse at three locations.

The Verbeek brothers are constantly looking for high-quality expertise in modern organic greenhouse farming. The Conscious Farmer has been asked to add her value – dot the i’s – on all aspects of organic greenhouse horticulture. Including the online training course Soil Microbiome Microscopy Intensive quick scan soil biology.

Westhof Bio, Germany, coaching and training

Westhof Bio is an organic greenhouse farm with ten hectares of greenhouses at two locations in Germany. Started in 2014, the company is part of the larger Westhof Bio group with a total of more than 1,000 hectares of organic field crops.

Westhof sought the expertise of The Conscious Farmer to improve the performance of organic operation in all aspects. After just one season, our guidance resulted in significant improvements in the organization’s productivity and profitability.
Jakob Johannson, Head Grower Hennstedter Gewächshaus:
“In total, I am looking back at a period of almost three seasons in which I worked together with TCF. Two out of these were the best and most successful / productive years that our company has ever had.”

Wholesum, Arizona (US) and Mexico, coaching

Wholesum Harvest is a family business that has been growing vegetables for more than 60 years. 30 years ago, the company stopped using synthetic chemicals. Today, Wholesum Harvest is a successful organic vegetable production company with more than 30 acres of high-tech greenhouses and more than 15 acres of Pad&Fan greenhouses spread across two locations in the United States and Mexico.

Constantly looking for opportunities for improvement, Wholesum Harvest invited The Conscious Farmer to evaluate organic cultivation in all aspects of cultivation and operations, focusing on plant nutrition, watering, climate control and biological control.

Our consultants are now assisting Head Growers at two locations in improving cultivation and business operations. They developed integrated fertilizer recommendations, an annual preventive and curative schedule for biological crop protection, and a practical hygiene protocol for the prevention and control of various viruses.
An online training course called Soil Microbiome Microscopy Intensive was also conducted for the Research & Development staff to do a quick scan on the vitality of microbiology in soil, substrate and compost.

Tuinderij Vahl, Netherlands, coaching

Tuinderij Vahl is a modern family business specializing in the sustainable production of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers for the Dutch and European market. For the greater part, it operates on geothermal energy in combination with wood-fired stoves. The commercial production facility for greenhouse vegetables has an area of 12.6 hectares in the Netherlands, of which 2.5 hectares is organic. In Germany they have another conventional four-hectare greenhouse.

The Conscious Farmer coaches the organic growers of Tuinderij Vahl to refine organic cultivation in all aspects of their business operations. In doing so, the two managers of organic greenhouse farming are particularly guided in the areas of biological pest control, climate control, production quality and cost control.

Frutura, Austria, evaluation

Frutura Fruit & Vegetables has 27 hectares of greenhouse cultivation, eight of which are organic. Frutura uses geothermal heat, thus operating in line with global efforts to greatly reduce fossil fuel consumption, that results in global warming.

The goal of our consultants’ guidance is to address all major aspects of modern organic greenhouse farming, including but not limited to biological pest control, climate control and soil amendment and fertilization. This is about a comprehensive approach, simply because the many aspects in an organic greenhouse are closely related.