It is not totally without risk, NL: Dutch phalaenopsis grower Martijn van Geel readily admits, but he definitely is convinced he made the right choice with his latest investment. A new, 1-hectare greenhouse with cooling has just been completed at Van Geel Orchideeën. "This allows us to cool our plants for longer than we do now, which will benefit the quality and the number of buds per plant. The greenhouse is now completely finished, only the cold storage tank has yet to be built."
Starting February 2019, the potting of extra plants will start, which will be available by January 2020. From then on we will supply an additional 10,000 plants on a weekly basis."
Plants will not yet be brought in, because the present time is used to first renovate the old greenhouse, department by department. For example, PDI is busy replacing screens and profiles and Erfgoed will install a new cultivation floor. "With a new top screen, we will be able to screen better and conserve energy, and with the cultivation floor we are again 100% closed as far as water is concerned. Recycling water in phalaenopsis cultivation is a challenge, but we have a good solution for it. Because we also have a chrysanthemum business and because chrysanthemums are resistant to the pests and diseases that occur in the phalaenopsis, we can reuse the water at the other greenhouse."
Besides the renovation works, 2,300 solar panels are being installed on four different sheds, which for a large part will have to supply the power for the cooling facilities. Moreover, a last roof containing asbestos is being remediated and will be provided with a new, insulated roof.
Two years ago, 1.8 ha was added already, so the acreage now comes to 5 hectares of phalaenopsis. With this, the greenhouse has more than doubled over the last three years. "What would we do better than others? We start from our own strength. We keep it simple and do our utmost to have the price-quality story in order. We are also flexible and try to unburden customers on all aspects. I think that we have aligned cultivation, assortment and sales very well. We also do our best to improve the shelf life even further, we do not use chemicals and we have a wide color palette with more than 100 varieties. I think that this combination allows us to grow, also in this market."
For more information:
Van Geel Orchideeën
7887 TN Erica
M: +31 (0)6-55344491
T: +31 (0)591-303518
F: +31 (0)591-304262