Since early 2010, Jim Grootscholte runs the new farm of the renowned 4Evergreen pepper farm in St. Annaland. The first yellow peppers have just been harvested at this new location. Together with the other locations of the family business, peppers are grown on a total area of 41 hectares. Just before our visit, Jim was interviewed for a fruit website, where he explained the significance of the new nursery for local employment in Tholen, Zeeland.
Pepper cultivation is all about light
De Zeeland region, where Sint Annaland is located, is known in the Netherlands for the high levels of light and sunshine. Jim explains: “For over forty years, this region has been the first region in the Netherlands to harvest new potatoes”. So it’s not surprising that they chose the highly transparent LUXOUS 1347 FR as their energy screen for this new facility. Next to the new facility they are using Crystal Clear Glass for an additional 2% of light transmission. Apart from light, the relative humidity in the greenhouse is an important factor. Peppers don’t like RH above 90%. This goal is easily achieved – even under a closed screen. “I hardly need to use a gap”, Jim adds. This fact is important – as it allows him to maximize his energy saving.
In the morning the energy screen is opened soon after sunrise. The objective is to create an active climate by working with a minimum pipe temperature. With the energy saving properties of the LUXOUS 1347 FR, pipe temperatures tend to be too low when the screen is closed. In the afternoon the screen is closed somewhat earlier than normal, to utilise the existing heat in the greenhouse. Due to the high light transmission of LUXOUS 1347 FR, light loss is minimal.
A small screen gap is sufficient
On sunny days the screen is used to remove the radiation peaks. As Jim points out in the picture above, only a relatively small gap is needed to retain a good climate.
Two weeks after this interview, Grootscholte decided to include his 24 Ha. Steenbergen nursery in this project – installing LUXOUS 1347 FR, there too!