After a year of preparations, Van der Hoeven recently organized the first ModulAIR Platform, on 13 and 14 February in Australia. The aim of the ModulAIR Platform is to facilitate – in an informal atmosphere – knowledge sharing between participants, to explain in detail the philosophy of the ModulAIR greenhouse, and to foster the development of relationships between participants that can be built on outside the ModulAIR Platform.
The Platform is a recurrent event that will be held twice a year at different locations across the world, and which will be accessible for Van der Hoeven clients who have a semi-closed ModulAIR greenhouse or who are in the process of building one. The feedback from some of the participants affirm the success of the first ModulAIR Platform:
“Thank you for organizing this gathering. I found it extremely helpful and would like to see more of this in the future.”
”I appreciated everyone’s openness and the willingness to find solutions.”
“The meeting was extremely interesting and informative. I learned a great deal.”
The first ModulAIR Platform was held at Flavorite Tomatoes in Warragul, which, alongside the technical specialists from Van der Hoeven, opened its doors to growers from Australia, Canada, Japan and Spain. Flavorite Tomatoes has vertically integrated all the activities around cultivation, from the propagation of its own plant material, via the cultivation of different crops in different greenhouses and the processing of products in 50 different packaging types, to the final distribution to clients. In short: the ideal hosts for the first ModulAIR Platform. A short company film by Flavorite Tomatoes can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNfYaIXHcn4&t=39s
During the two-day gathering, technical presentations about the use of the ModulAIR greenhouse were combined with visits to the cultivation greenhouses, packing room and propagation greenhouse of Flavorite Tomatoes. There was also ample time for discussions around climate control in a ModulAIR greenhouse, growth strategies for different crops, plant physiology, and how these three aspects work together to create the ideal conditions for each crop.
The semi-closed greenhouse is no longer reserved only for tomato cultivation. This was confirmed by the participants who cultivate a variety of different crops within their ModulAIR greenhouses: various types of tomatoes (from cherry tomatoes to vine tomatoes), bell peppers and diverse kinds of lettuce. The differences between these crops led to interesting discussions about the use of the ModulAIR greenhouse, due to the specific requirements of each crop in terms of climate control and growth strategy. In all cases, the ModulAIR greenhouse is able to meet the wishes and requirements of the grower. These discussions broadened the participants’ awareness of the range of opportunities for use of the ModulAIR greenhouse. Future developments will serve to increase the flexibility of the ModulAIR greenhouse still further, expanding the range of situations in which it can be deployed even more.
We are already working on the next ModulAIR Platform, which will probably take place in the summer in Europe. Van der Hoeven hopes that the group of participants in the platform will continue to grow, thus providing more and more growers with the opportunity to benefit from knowledge sharing between different growers from different continents growing different crops in different climates. For every situation, the ModulAIR greenhouse is ready to take on the challenge!