Plant Paradise:

emancipation of the plant

The art of giving plants exactly what they want

 

Our Plant Production Units allow us to have complete control over all the variables that can influence plant growth. We engage in a dialogue with plants in order to develop our Growing Recipes.

Many years of actively listening to plants has taught us a very surprising lesson: “By controlling our environment and giving us exactly what we need, rather than what you think we need,” the plants told us, “we will be able to achieve more of our potential. Isn’t it time for our emancipation from all of the excess and limiting inputs?” We decided to put plants in control. Thus, the idea of a plant paradise was born. We built our first prototype of the Plant Production Unit in 2006, and the company PlantLab was established in 2010.

Plant Production Units

Crops deserve a better growing environment than a standard field or greenhouse; they deserve an environment where they can grow and flourish irrespective of the climate, season or time of day.
This is where PlantLab comes in. We built a completely closed growing environment where we are able to merge and apply our knowledge of technology, mathematics and plant physiology.

This allows us to control growth conditions, as you can see in the illustration below, in order to run our Growing Recipes. We call this nursery a Plant Production Unit (PPU). Our PPU integrates four areas of technological advancement: mathematical modeling, new radical insights into plant physiology, state of the art technology (e.g. LED systems) and multi-layer growing. Our PPU is the most advanced integration of technology and plant physiology that we know of. PPUs can be any size, from small microwave sized PPUs to multi-story building PPUs. The artistic rendering on the right offers an example of the latter.

Balancing the habitat

pot balans zonder blauwe cirkel

 

 

A line-up of the team of balancing elements under our control, ready to find their ideal positions …

PlantLab does not modify plants themselves; instead, we carefully select the characteristics of nature that plants like, while excluding the elements that inhibit plant development and growth. This concept is based on the balanced way of growing, which we have developed in the course of the last decades.

It integrates a team of balancing elements (the growing variables) around the habitat of the plant, ready to be balanced out to create the desired characteristics of any particular crop.

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plant na de balancing

 

 

… and their final adjustment for the ideal customized ‘team recipe’ for growing.

From Plant-ID to Growing Recipe

20141012 Intake Production

Plant-IDs

Prior to initiating large-scale crop production, we undertake research work in order to create a plant identity for each of our crops. During this phase, we determine how each crop will behave in a controlled growing environment.
We test combinations of dozens of growing variables, which were previously studied separately, and look for the optimum mix for each crop. We have already created Plant-ID’s for dozens of crops. This gives us an ideal route for breeding.
Plant-IDs are crop specific. In the Growing Recipes phase, we add in customers’ specific growing demands.

 

 

Growing Recipes

Eventually, we will use our PPUs to grow crops for our partners according to their requirements, which we will use to create Growing Recipes. These recipes specify the precise conditions required for each stage of plant growth.
Growing Recipes are customized by the specifications and demands of our partners and, of course, the crop based Plant-ID. Recipes are determined by the answers to questions including, when will crops be harvested, how many kilograms will be produced, what should the final crop look like, how should it taste, etc. Using this information, we can then calculate when cultivation should begin and what settings are required to realize the intended outcomes.
Once the cultivation formula is developed, it can be replicated over and over, anywhere in the world, with the same desired product being produced every time.

 

 

What are the PlantLab yields compared to traditional growing?

Asking what crop production method is best, or how much better PlantLab’s approach is compared to others, is too absolute and generic. Why is this the case? The question can only be answered if we are considering a specific example and timeframe. We will illustrate this using the following example: Of the many variables required for crop production, let’s focus on one: sunlight. There are over a dozen other factors which we must consider before being able to make our comparison, including location and season. Considering the impact of all of these factors on a particular crop over the course of one year, allows us to make some observations about the differences that exist between that crop and others grown during the same year.

For example, suppose we want to compare the amount of biomass that crops grown in an open field can produce from sunlight. Ordinary grass can produce 3%, while sugarcane can produce 4%. This is particularly high, as typically crops fall in the range of 0.1% to 0.5%. This is because plants cannot absorb most of the light that comes from the sun, including, for example, green light. At PlantLab, our crops can easily produce 50 times the 0.1% to 0.5% range! However, it is important to keep in mind that in an open field, these numbers may vary by season. This is a summary of a more elaborated version.

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If you are wondering at this point what the technical elements in this chapter mean to our partners and (their) customers, you can now turn to the benefits and values under this button…

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