Geest Potplanten is a progressive nursery, located at various locations in the municipality of Westland. On an area of 15 hectares we grow potted plants with the utmost care. Our wide range consists of various (green) houseplants, such as Alocasia, Areca, Monstera, Musa, Phalaenopsis, Schefflera, Strelitzia and colourful (flowering) orchids.
Our core value is Together-Improve-Success. With these values we emphasize that everyone within our company contributes to the success of our company and the success of our customers, and that we think outside the box to further develop ourselves. In this way we fully use the talents of our team members.
With our label “You & Me in a green world”, we show our commitment to making a greener world. We borrow the earth from our (grand)children. We want to take care of nature as much as possible, that’s what we base our choices on. We go for the best option for both the environment and people.
All rainwater is collected and stored in our basins, some of which are located under our production floors. We use this water to irrigate the crops, after which the water is collected and reused. This is a so called closed system. The collected water is purified again and again, so that the plants get fresh and clean water and no used water goes back into nature.
The challenge for sustainable cultivation is to make the plant as strong as possible and thereby make it resistant to diseases and pests If the plant is resistant and less susceptible, small animals can take over to keep the crop healthy. This way we can keep cultivation under control with as little use as possible of chemical crop protection products. In other words, diseases and pests are combated as much as possible biologically. Employees continuously walk through the nursery to ensure that the plants are strong and healthy.
The electricity we need for Geest Potplanten is generated with enormous batteries, so-called CHPs. In the summer, we collect the heat and store it underground, which we can use it in the winter to heat the greenhouse and vice versa. There are sources present under the company, which we also use for energy efficiency. In summer, cold water from the springs is used to regulate the temperature in the cool compartments. One of the cultivation phases for orchids has been set up as a cold department to get the plants in bloom. In addition, we have our solar panels to save on electricity and we are connected to geothermal energy in order to use as little gas as possible.
Waste is neatly separated and recycled within the company. Recycled materials are being used as much as possible. For example, the cultivation pots are made of recycled bottle caps and nappies and the trays for the plants are selected on the basis of the reusability of the material. The potting soil used is sustainably sourced and is RHP-certified.
Crop Protection Agents Kg Active Ingredient:
Provides insight into the use of plant protection products. Red stands for substances with a high environmental impact, orange for substances with a low impact on the environment, green for substances with a low impact on the environment (Source MPS-A).
Provides insight into the use of the amount of energy. (Source MPS-A)
Fertilizers (KG) Nitrogen and Phosphorus Consumption:
Provides insight into the use of Nitrogen and Phosphorus. (Source MPS-A)
There is a permanent team of employees of different nationalities, but everyone in the company is equal. The rules are the same for everyone and each employee is treated in the same way. This, of course, also applies to men and women. All employees have an agreement in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Glasshouse horticulture.
The fact that the company works in a very social way is also confirmed by obtaining a Socially Qualified certificate issued by a recognised and accredited organisation called MPS. In addition to this certificate, we also are about to receive the Planetproof certificate, MPS-A, GlobalGAP and GRASP.
Did you know that flowers and plants have a healthy effect on people?
Plants provide air purification..
People breathe in air, take out oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. In the case of plants it is the other way around. During photosynthesis, plants remove carbon dioxide from the air and convert it back into oxygen. The amount of oxygen in the air is increased by the presence of plants, which makes breathing easier.
Air-purifying plants can absorb harmful substances from the air through their leaves. These harmful substances are then stored and broken down in the plant’s roots. These plants can also break down dirty odours, so they are actually natural air fresheners.
For the sake of clarity, every (indoor) plant produces oxygen, but not every plant also purifies the air. Air-purifying plants are e.g. the Spathiphyllum, Calathea, Hedera helix (ivy), Areca palm and the Ficus. For many plants we do not yet know to what extent they have an air purifying effect since they have not yet been tested.
Plants ensure a better concentration and a reduction of stress.
Plants create a relaxed and better atmosphere, also at work.. Plants make the workplace a more pleasant place to work.
Apparently there is even a relationship between the presence of plants and the productivity of employees.
Moreover, the presence of plants has a positive effect on the creativity and concentration of people.
Plants reduce the dryness of the air
The dust content and humidity in the house are strongly related with each other. The dryer the air, the more dust. This can cause symptoms such as a tickling cough, dry skin, headaches and irritated eyes. By watering plants, it finally evaporates again through the stomata in the leaves. Plants can thus increase the humidity of the air, which therefore benefits the air quality.
Plants provide a pleasant and warm feeling Research has shown that plants are good for people in various (subtle) ways. They play an essential role in creating a pleasant, natural and quiet environment in which to move, work and/or relax.
Did you know that flowers too have a healthy effect on people? Flowers can brighten up any room in a magical way. They give meaning to our emotions such as love, joy, comfort, compassion and sorrow. Flowers provide a relaxing effect on our constitution. They provide positive energy in the home and a warm feeling. In short, everyone is just very happy about that!
The Dutch greenhouse horticulture sector is worldwide renowned for its innovative power. In order to be one step ahead of the competition from other parts of the world, people are constantly looking for better efficiency in the use of raw materials and space. This, of course, without compromising the (top) quality of the Dutch product.
The glasshouse horticulture sector in the Netherlands can cope with this rapid pace of innovation thanks to a strong relationship between research and practice. In addition, a great deal of knowledge is exchanged between the entrepreneurs in order to make progress together. The flower auctions are a good example of this as one of the largest cooperatives in the world.
Below we describe a few examples of this innovative power.
Biological control and integrated pest management
In order to minimise the use of pesticides and to find a better balance between parasites and their natural enemies, natural enemies of the parasites are used in the greenhouses. Thanks to the intensive exchange of knowledge between the growers and their suppliers, growers are increasingly able to produce a top quality product with organic solutions.
Combined heat and power (CHP)
Combined heat and power (CHP) is a large engine, originating from the shipping industry. Only it has been converted to run on natural gas. The efficiency of this motor is higher than traditional gas boilers. These engines drive a generator that generates electricity. This electricity is used in the company’s own nursery or is supplied back to the public electricity grid. The ‘residual heat’ produced by the engine is used to heat the greenhouses. After cleaning, the exhaust gases can be used to provide the plants with CO2. All in all, these motors provide an efficiency that can be up to 20% higher than the traditional method of heating (gas boilers).
Geothermal energy is used for this type of energy. A drilling tower is used to drill a well to a depth of 2-3 km. At this depth, water of more than 80 degrees can be ‘collected’. This heat is used to heat the greenhouses and then the cooled water is returned to the soil via a second source. It is expected that these sources will be able to continue to produce sufficient heat, even longer than the life of a greenhouse.
Drilling the well is an enormously expensive investment. In addition, there is a great risk that the drilling will ‘fail’. By working together with each other and with governments, in the Netherlands we are able to gain experience with this way of heating greenhouses sustainably.
Plants need water and nutrients to grow. More and more nurseries are making use of the reuse of drainage water. This is water that is collected before it disappears into the subsoil. This ‘drainage water’ still contains many nutrients that can be used by the plants.
By reusing this water and mixing it with clean water, less fertilizer is used.
However, the drainage water also contains some ‘wrong substances’. The content of these wrong substances determines how much water can be reused. The application of new techniques creates opportunities to filter these ‘wrong substances’ out of the water.
In new constructions, more and more growers are opting to cover their greenhouses with diffuse glass. Diffuse glass ensures that light is distributed much more evenly across the crop without any shade or light spots. This leads to a more even greenhouse climate.
Temperature and humidity can thus be controlled more accurately, which means, for example, that the opening of the air windows can be limited, which leads to lower CO2 emissions.
LED lighting in greenhouse horticulture
A new innovation in horticulture is the use of LED lighting. This lighting is not comparable with LED lighting used in consumer use. In the horticultural sector, the lighting is produced by ‘power LEDs’ and therefore much higher. The major advantage of these ‘power LEDs’ is related to sustainable business practices: energy savings compared to high-pressure sodium lamps (orange-coloured lighting). This saves more than half of the energy.
Another major advantage is that when using LEDs, crops can be better controlled using the different colours in the light. This is in favour of a better growth and a higher quality of the product.