Burgh-Haamstede originated with the production of cloned fern cuttings. This reproduction technique is a godsend for home plant growers. Because the clips are identical, they can work more efficiently.
The high-tech company is now also focusing on another branch of the sport, the garden fern. For this, a laboratory with an area of 1,500 square meters is being built next to the existing site. The parking lot of the wholesaler, who announced his intention to move, still stands at that place.
John Bell shakes a plastic bag with dried fern leaves. Indicates a layer of brown dust at the bottom. “We collect these traces,” says co-director of Vitro Plus, as he opens the refrigerator with bottles. “We can simulate ideal germination conditions and grow cuttings with LED lighting. We get a million plants out of this bottle.”
Small garden ferns are supplied to farmers in peat containers, but Vitro Plus also wants to sell it online to consumers.
The company now produces five million fern cuttings. That should be four times as long. Growing Beagle explains: “People love green plants.” “Plus, our product is very environmentally friendly. We don’t use pesticides and growing plants requires hardly any water. The lab also requires much less space than a greenhouse. We work here with thirty layers.”
Vitro Plus is not just about building a new lab. A log cabin is being prepared for foreign clients on the north side of Burgh-Haamstede and the foundations of a cedar greenhouse are now in the garden.
“This must have been some kind of Victorian botanical garden,” Beagle says, not without pride. “We’ll use it as a showroom and tell the story of fern cultivation. Did you know, for example, that in the middle of the nineteenth century in England ferns were so noisy that whole forests were plundered?”
The greenhouse should be ready by the end of this year and the new laboratory will be completed next spring. Vitro Plus currently employs 70 people. Bijl expects about two dozen more in the coming years.
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