Wetskills The Netherlands By Mira (Oman) & Mthokozisi (Zimbabwe)
Waking up on the 26th of October proved to be a challenge after a long night of exploring the dazzling city of Rotterdam hence we found ourselves tearing through breakfast as we had to rush to the bus to go to Westland.
Lash green grass and numerous greenhouses littered the route to our first destination, Optiflor; a company that specialises in growing Orchids from all over the world of numerous shapes and colors. What started as a small family business that grew tomatoes has transformed to a marvel of Orchid growing. After traveling back in time through the history talk and museum visit, we went to the greenhouse which contains two parts: a warm part (for stimulating growth) and a cold part (to stimulate flowering).
The plants there grow by Aquaculture and can take up to 3 years to mature. Optiflor continues to run their business sustainably as they plan to optimize their water usage; this has been resolved already through their water saving practices which includes filtering the water by filter paper and recycling it: ZERO WASTE.
After ending the first excursion stop at Optiflor, we went to a geothermal unit. It contains an injection well and production well. The process is used to extract the hot water from a deep aquifer 2.5km deep. The hot water is used in the heating process for the greenhouses via heat exchangers. Afterwards they re-inject the cold water in the injection well…
Lunch was something of a fairytale at Watertuin: A delicious buffet which prepared us to go and see the Sand Motor project at the sea coast where we learnt about the Process of Coastal management to solve the movement of sand from south to west, and we saw different implemented mitigation measures to prevent the flooding (shells, jeans and ditches)
The last stop for our tour was another marvel of engineering; the sluice gates of the Maeslantkering. After all these massive projects, one feels empowered to do anything!!!
Finally we went back to the hostel.