Sign up here to subscribe to the Grower2grower Ezine. Every two weeks you will receive new articles, specific to the protected cropping industry, informing you of industry news and events straight to your inbox.
Bert van Geffen – Your Horticulture Coach
Grower2Grower SME Strawberries and more
I am pleased to announce the first Grower2Grower Subject Matter Experts (SME) onboard is Bert van Geffen. A greenhouse manager for four decades, Bert recently removed his head growers hat starting his advisory business, Your Horticulture Coach. For the past two years Bert has been based in Canada, advising and establishing medium and high-tech greenhouse strawberry production.
New Zealand strawberry growers are increasingly interested in greenhouse strawberry production, with conversions, ranging from outdoor to protected cropping, having recently occurred. I receive many enquires and believe there is an opportunity to provide more specialist expertise. Bert will advise on the entire aspect of growing strawberries, from initial establishment and layout of the structure, right through the entire growing stage until harvest. Growing in New Zealand for nearly 20 years Bert fully understands the local climate, this is a huge advantage which will be valuable for this emerging greenhouse industry.
As well as strawberries Bert also provides services for tomatoes (which he has a significant passion for), cucumbers, and capsicums. Both conventional and organic greenhouse crops.
Below is the advisory services Bert offers. These include different options to suit the requirement of each customer:
- Fertiliser recipes
- Climate computer monitoring
- Will answer questions, via WhatsApp, within 24 hours
- Weekly Zoom meetings
- Plant pruning
- Service backed up by Grower2Grower
- Improve crop quality
- Teach how to think outside the box to get different results
Grower2Grower will provide valuable local assistance and be able to provide support for both grower and SME.
If you are interested in acquiring the services of Bert van Geffen please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Bert van Geffen History:
I was practically born in a Dutch glasshouse in the Southern part of the Netherlands. My father was in the horticultural business and for as long as I can remember, I have wanted to do the same. I joined my Dad after school to work in the business. At that time, the main crop was Strawberries growing in the soil. Over the years I had my own glasshouses and managed (high-tech) greenhouses. I had the opportunity to sell the glasshouses in the Netherland to explore the horticulture world. Yielding a variety of crops (tomatoes, strawberries, capsicums, cucumbers and different flower types) in countries all over the world. Although I left the Netherlands twenty years ago, I am still in close contact with the growing industry there and have become an expert not only in growing in Holland but also how to successfully grow crops in other countries in all conditions.
New Zealand Work History:
I moved to New Zealand twenty years ago and wanted to learn about the country before starting my own glasshouses. I started at Van Lier Nurseries, growing roses and helped build one Ha of new glasshouse. As horticulture exploded in NZ that time, I was offered several grower/manager jobs. This is how I met Stefan while working for Bryan Hart at Status (now T&G). I was invited to join the strong grower’s group with Stefan and a couple of other growers. Since then we have stayed in contact till today. Living in New Zealand for nearly 20 years, I grew several different crops, mostly tomatoes, but also capsicums, flowers and bulbs.
I love the NZ climate, but it is difficult to copy and paste all the great tips from advisors from the Netherlands. New Zealand has its own climate which is so different from other countries I have worked in. I managed and was very proud to grow one of the best quality tomato crops in New Zealand with one of the highest productions.
“I am passionate about helping others and it truly excites me to see growers succeeding in their business. I know how difficult it can be not having a knowledgeable person available to you. No matter if you are a new, a start-up or an experienced grower, or when you are more isolated from the rest of the world. I have also witnessed how much the greenhouse industry has changed over the last 40 years and I keep myself constantly informed of new research and growing techniques, making sure we are up to date at all times. With my expertise together we can apply the practices to your business in order to gain maximum crops and profit. It does not matter the size or complexity of your business or whether it is a new or already established business, big or small, I can help you”.
Comment: Stefan Vogrincic
I have known Bert since the early 2000’s, I have been involved in many crop discussion groups with Bert and I know he is a fantastic grower with vast greenhouse horticulture knowledge. Bert once said to me; “once you learn how to grow something you will then have the basic understanding to learn and grow anything”. As a young grower this instilled the confidence in me to do exactly that.
Below is Berts Strawberry Photo Gallery
Medium-high tech glasshouse
Young strawberry plant growing in coir Substrate
High-tech growing using containers filled with coir substrate. (above and below)
Bert in a high-tech greenhouse. This greenhouse is fitted with screens for energy and shade purposes.