Welcome to this issue of Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses.
The Netherlands has always been considered to be at the forefront of greenhouse technology and is the undisputed market leader in flowers, plants, bulbs and reproductive material as well as the number three exporter in the world of nutritional horticulture products.
Dutch inventiveness under glass is well known. Nowhere else in the world are plants cultivated on such a large scale – Dutch greenhouses cover an area of more than 60 km2, constituting a city of glass – and with a relatively low impact on the environment. The focus is on concepts and technologies that facilitate energy-efficiency and adaptability to climate change.
It is little wonder therefore that when it comes to the development of European agriculture and horticulture, the Dutch are leading the way. Our story, Sustainable growing in the EU looks at how sustainable production is gaining in popularity across Europe and how the Dutch greenhouse sector is making large contributions to the advancement of knowledge in this area.
Elsewhere in this issue, we trace, how, after a rocky start, New Zealand producer Tasman Bay Herbs today supplies 30 different varieties of culinary herbs and salad greens to supermarkets across New Zealand. We also profile Queensland strawberry producer Piñata Farms, which is streamlining its operations through the use of a new harvest aid.
Our story, Greening the camps looks at how a newly established, non-profit organisation is designing, developing, constructing and maintaining rooftop gardens in Palestinian refugee camps while in Colourmetric analysis, Alex Harrison explains how hydroponic solutions are analysed using photometric and colourmetric methods.
Finally, in a story that will interest many, Dr Mike Nichols writes about how consumers’ insistence on the cosmetic appearance of a product becomes important selection criteria for the plant breeder.
These and other stories await your reading pleasure.
Enjoy this issue!