Alf Andersen talks to Rasmus at Biosund in Denmark. He explains how he grows organic herbs and vegetables.
Rasmus begins: ”We started the organic production in 2017, when we started doing organic roses. But at the moment, organic roses are not so interesting in today’s market. So, we started doing organic edible plants last year (2019). This year was a sort of test, where we only had one customer, but we could already see a huge potential for growing plants in that (organic) way. So in 2020, we started a much bigger production in 4000m2.”
Biosund switched to Jiffy Pots
We actually started last year, says Rasmus, on a small scale, about 10000 pieces. This year we are doing much more. We started off with traditional plastic pots, but quite early in the process we switched to Jiffy pots. It was actually my personal idea. I had a bit of a discussion with the rest of the company, but in my opinion that makes the best looking product. If you grow something that is 100% organic, you also need to have a pot that looks organic. You can’t put it in a plastic pot in my opinion. That’s not very organic. A customer that tested our product told us not to use plastic pots, but use some kind of degradable pot. Actually, we could see last year that we had quite good success, and we just scaled it up quite big this year.
I would say, for the production we need to think in a different way when you do it in a Jiffy. Because, when you have done it in a normal plastic pot for over thirty years, you would know how a plastic pot works. But you don’t know how a peat pot works. So, if we are behind schedule with watering, we need to think a little. When a peat pot gets dry, it gets dry. We learned from our mistakes.
When you come up with a new product line, it’s very hard to get it installed into people’s minds that this is actually the best for the environment and the most sustainable way of handling production. To convince them not to use plastic, because in people’s mind plastics are still the best. But in the end of the day, here you don’t damage any roots or anything, because they’re already in the pots. So this way of growing plants is priority.
What about the future?
Well, as a younger grower I’m looking into a different future than it has been for the last 30-40 years where you could solve everything with chemicals. But in my opinion, we should look into a future like people looked at plant growing as they did 50-60 years ago. It’s kind of looking back to learn for the future. It’s different. We should do like our grandparents did. When my grandfather grew tomatoes 70 years ago, that’s the way we should be doing it in the future! Back to nature. All nature.
When you use a lot of chemicals, you destroy the biological material on the leaves. But when you don’t, the plant remain much more resilient and strong. And you don’t get many problems with diseases and insects either.
It really is a change of your entire mindset. You have to adapt a different way of thinking.Rasmus, grower at Biosund Denmark