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Teun Valstar

Dutch tropical pot plant grower discusses sustainable cultivation of calathea

In the coming weeks at Waterdrinker’s Cash & Carry, the spotlight will be on growers that contribute to a sustainable and healthy world in one way or the other. This has resulted in a story series, including this one: an interview with tropical pot plant grower Teun Valstar:

What do you specialize in?

We cultivate Calatheas. The Calathea is also called a shade plant. It originates from the tropical rain forests in South America where it grows in the dense jungle and therefore receives little or no light. What is nice to know is that the calathea closes its leaves during the night and opens them again in the morning. The calathea is therefore also called 'living plant’. The leaves can move because of a small joint located between the leaf and the stem. Light triggers the movement of these joints and the leaves.

Do you give a lot of importance to sustainability?
The environment is very important to us. In collaboration with four other fellow companies we’re working hard towards a sustainable future. With our joint geothermal heat project ‘Green Well Westland' we’re trying to minimize gas consumption and CO₂ emissions. In addition, we use an ebb and flow system that allows for complete circulation of the feed water. This means that all of the feed water is recycled. We use biological disease control to combat any diseases and internally we of course also try to practice waste separation as much as possible.

Can you tell us a bit more about the geothermal heat project?
We are shareholders of Green Well Westland, with five other enthusiastic entrepreneurs. Together we represent sustainable and environmentally friendly agricultural products, whereby we focus on a cleaner future for everyone. A clean future doesn’t just happen. To contribute to a better and cleaner living environment our plants are grown with geothermal heat. This way CO₂ emissions are greatly reduced, less natural gas is burned and we contribute to a healthier future for everyone, not just now but also for future generations.

How does geothermal heat get into your greenhouse?
The deeper you get into the earth, the hotter it is. This heat is called geothermal heat, sometimes geothermal energy. The hot water is pumped up from a depth of 2000 meters. This hot water is used to heat our greenhouse. Subsequently, the cooled water is pumped back to the core of the earth to naturally be warmed up again. A beautiful, green and closed loop!

Finally, why should everyone have a Calathea?
The calathea is not only special because of its moving leaves but it is also characterized by the several colors of green and striking marked leaves. In addition, the calathea is one of the most air-purifying plants. So they neutralize harmful gases, improve humidity and provide a healthier indoor environment by effectively turning CO₂ into oxygen.

Source: Waterdrinker

Publication date: 1/10/2017



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