Blogs | Beanstalk & Sjoerd Nieboer

Keeping up with the horticultural challenges

…..with the help of Albert Einstein

The developments in the horticulture are rapidly increasing in complexity and scale. Thirty years ago an investment in a boiler was big, nowadays, building a cooperation between several companies to drill a geothermic well for approximately €20 mln, is big. Times are changing, the questions, to some extent, are not. In this case, the question remains; How do we heat the greenhouse efficiently. 

Albert Einstein understood this.

Student: Dr. Einstein, aren’t these the same questions as last year’s (physics) final exam? 

Dr Einstein: Yes, But this year the answers are different.

If the answers keep changing, what should we learn to keep up with the developments? We are not capable of looking into the future, so what can we do to develop ourselves in a way that enables us to find the answers in the future? First step is being critical how we look at learning. You will not learn from a book how to create something new. To develop something new, you combine what you’ve learned from sources (books, presentations, people, webinars, google 😊)with what you already know. This is for each person unique! Our interpretation and references, are ours alone. 

In general, creating new things is not going to happen out of the blue. Awareness is essential. Awareness about what you already know and what you have learned. Therefor learning is a process - a process that you can stimulate or ignore if you choose. 

Albert Einstein knew this as well;

“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think”

For example, Indoor farming is an upcoming trend. Growing vegetables in climate cells is not the standards (yet), but in research settings it is already happening. In this scenario, the facts are that we cultivate the same plants, plant physiology is not changed and the growing factors are still the same. However, the context is changed, so what we have learned in open and protected horticulture often doesn't apply. To get an optimal result, an open mind is necessary. If we manage to keep an open mind, extraordinary results are possible. See the trial result of Pepper yield that had an increase of 86%  at Certhons innovation Centre. 

Certhon Innovation Centre;

The next question is: How can we stimulate our own learning process? To be practical in how you begin your learning process, ask yourself the question ‘why?’ more often. Why are we doing this, and/or why in this way? Your work environment is also a fantastic learning environment. Find a problem and start solving it! Learning is a personal process, but you don’t have to do it alone. Create a setting, with people (experts) and opportunities to explore! 

To conclude, a last saying by Albert Einstein;

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

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