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College What about Soil (EN): ’Hidden innovations and challenges in horticulture'

What about Soil goes above ground! You are welcome to join our lecture on 14 March from 18:00h - 20:30h, free of charge. Professionals Andre van der Wurff, Carina Eisfeld and Tim Brouwers will tell you more about the theme of the evening: 'Hidden innovations and challenges in horticulture'.

What about Soil goes above ground

Please note that this is a one-off edition in English. Also, this lecture will only take place physically at HAS green academy in Den Bosch. 

The main focus this evening is on the substrates of horticulture. Both soil and substrate share similarities, as both require optimal conditions for plant root growth, aiming to cultivate healthy plants with robust root systems. In horticulture, challenges include reducing water and peat usage. While water recirculation faces disease and microbe buildup, enhancing soil biology is a potential solution. Despite peat being a limited resource from fragile ecosystems, its reduction in horticulture is challenging, given its ideal role in substrates.

18:00 - 20:30

The programme

  • 17:00h (optional): light meal
  • 18:00h: first speaker(s) 
  • 19:00h: break
  • 19:15h: second speaker(s)
  • 20:30h: end of the lecture 

More about the speakers

Andre van der Wurff
Dr. André W.G. van der Wurff, an expert in soil ecology, earned a Bachelor's in Biology and Dutch language, followed by an MSc in ecology at the University of Amsterdam. After a post-doc position at Wageningen University, he became a Senior Project Manager at Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture. His research was related to soil health and disease suppression as a sustainable alternative to chemical crop protection. Since October 2016, he has served as the R&D Manager at Groen Agro Control and Foundation Control in Food & Flowers. 

Carina Eisfeld
Dr. Carina Eisfeld, an environmental microbiologist passionate about plant health and sustainable cultivation, earned her master's degree in Biology at the Technical University of Munich, specializing in microbiology and plant sciences. She pursued a PhD at TU Delft, focusing on analyzing water quality to prevent the spread of plant diseases and safeguard food crops. Currently, she works as a researcher in microbial ecology at Stichting Control in Food & Flowers. 

In this edition of What about Soil, Andre and Carina will discuss boosting substrate biology and mitigating water recirculation risks.

Tom Huijs                                                                                                                                                        Tom Huijs, Development manager innovations at Kekkilä-BVB is constantly on the search for complimentary raw materials to be used in substrates. When a material has been proven suitable to be used in substrates, the development of its end-to-end value chain starts, which is where the biggest challenge begins. To take on this challenge requires a holistic view and a great deal of resilience and persistence. Personally, Tom is highly passionate about nature, spends every spare hour of daylight in the outdoors, constantly observing and building understanding about the delicate balance that exists between all that lives, and its impact on our health and future.