Roundup: Horti-BlueC at Hoogstraten
Horti-BlueC is an international multi-partner research project which aims to develop a ‘sustainable greenhouse’ model for the cultivation of tomato and strawberry crops. At the University of Portsmouth, the project is led by Joan Farrer, Professor of Design and Innovation.
The project has received funding from the European Regional Development Fund under the Interreg 2 Seas programme and the lead partner is the Flanders Research Institute for agriculture, fisheries and food (ILVO).
In November, the project consortium held a two-day event hosted by project partner Proefcentrum Hoogstraten. Edward Collins, Horti-BlueC PhD student based in the School of Art, Design and Performance represented the University of Portsmouth. Day one was a project consortium steering meeting, filled with presentations from each project partner explaining the results of experiments using sustainably recycled waste products in crop growing media. Discussions ensued, and final Horti-BlueC growing media blends were selected for the next stage of investigations. The day concluded with a tour of the PCH Horti-BlueC strawberry crops and the announcement of preliminary results of this trial.
The second day consisted of an open event for observer partners and the general public. The event was well attended by stakeholders and beneficiaries, including family groups. The Horti-BlueC research team gave short user-friendly presentations outlining the project objectives and explaining the findings so far. Visitors attended a screening of a Horti-BlueC short film and VR experience, produced by Toby Meredith (CCI), and were also given a tour of the strawberry crop trial greenhouses. This day allowed researchers to communicate and share with the public new ideas based on the research conducted so far.