The 150 heads of lettuce produced have been donated to a food-bank
Students from Assen have grown possibly the world’s most advanced salad leaves with the help of “Aquaponics”: a circular system, in which fish provide nutrition for plants. The harvest was then delivered to a local food-bank.
Due to the Coronavirus, all educational activities within TechHub Assen came to a halt in March. Nevertheless, one project was practically autonomous: the ‘Aquaponics greenhouse’. The yield, 150 heads of lettuce, was brought to the food bank last week by practical instructor Johan Hekman of Hanze University Groningen and entrepreneur Erik Moesker of Noord harvest Aquaponics, reports the Asser Courant.
In their second year, electrical engineering students conduct research in the field of sustainable food production in greenhouse cultivation. Hekman and Moesker knew each other from another project and this gave rise to the idea of setting up an education project based on aquaponics within the innovation workshop of TechHub Assen.
Aquaponics is a circular system, in which fish provide nutrition for plants. The fish are fed and secrete waste, which is converted into nutrients for the plants.
Education came to a halt, but because the monitoring system was ready, the cultivation could continue with minimal attention. And that has yielded a nice harvest of lettuce.
“A fantastic example of sustainable and locally produced food,” said Hekman. Since the semester is coming to an end, the system must be dismantled, but “of course we couldn’t just throw the heads of lettuce away. Last week we already brought a load of test heads to the food bank to see if it meets the desired quality. And they were very happy with it! ”
The last heads were harvested last Thursday and brought to the food bank. Hekman: “Fresh and unsprayed. You don’t get them better. ”
Image: an Aquaponics system in place at the Centre for Diversification in Crops in Alberta, Canada. Via Wikimedia user BryghtKnyght. License here.
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