The course consists of 4 days. Each day is held at a different location and has a different theme:
Day 1: Crops, varieties and yield potential - Brightbox Venlo
This module describes crops which are potentially interesting to grow under LEDs in a vertical farm, including varieties and yields.
Some crops will be harvested, weight will be determined and calculations done for yield. Light will be measured under different (LED)-lights with different devices (from a simple cell phone app to a spectrometer) for light measurement and a protocol for light measurement will be used.
Day 2: Seeds, sowing, substrates - HAS 's Hertogenbosch
During this module you learn how to sow, germinate and transplant/space different crops and learn about alternative methods. Also attention is paid to different substrates for sowing and plant raising. Also on this day we focus on characteristics of and cultivation in different substrates in combination with water delivery systems like aeroponics, hydroponics, dry hydroponics, ebb-and flow, Nutrient Film Technique.
Day 3: Climate setting and building a vertical farm - Naaldwijk
In this module optimal climate settings are discussed in terms of light quality, intensity, (day) length and integral, temperature, humidity, CO2 level, air speed. Also, you learn everything about building a vertical farm. What factors you should take into account? What are the do’s and don’ts? We will see very high tech farms and also more low tech farms.
Day 4: Business case, hygiene and sanitation, post harvest - location to be determined
You will learn about general hygiene practices and why they are necessary. Both plant diseases and pests and human bacterial diseases will be discussed in relation to hygiene protocols and disinfection methods. Plant physiology before and after harvest will be compared, so that becomes clear how to treat the products after harvest. Packing, packaging materials and storage temperatures are also part of this module.
We will also visit Philips GrowWise, a modern research center based on the Eindhoven High Tech Campus. On this last day of the course we will teach you how to calculate your business case based on data and calculations of Philips and partners.