Weblog Janneke Grit

Janneke Grit started last year with her Master Plant Sciences with specialisation Greenhouse Horticulture

My thesis 'Influence of Next Generation Lighting on Fruit Growth of Tomato' is the reason why I decided to study the specialisation Greenhouse Horticulture during my master.


My name is Janneke and I have just started the master Plant Sciences. However, I am already a fourth years student in Wageningen, because I also studied the bachelor Plant Sciences. Four years ago, after long doubting between different studies, I made the decision to study Plant Sciences. The first time I was at an open day of Wageningen University, I directly felt comfortable. I had never had that feeling again with a university, even when I liked the study at another university. The fact that within the study Plant Sciences there also exists the possibility to focus on plant production in agriculture and horticulture and not just on the inner plant, made the study perfect.

During my bachelor I attended the major ‘Plant production and ecology’ with the minor ‘Economics and policy’.  The courses crop ecology and soil-plant relations I like most, also the applied plant courses. I enjoyed my bachelor thesis in Bleiswijk at the research institute Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture with the subject:  Influence of Next Generation Lighting on Fruit Growth of Tomato. This thesis is the reason why I decided to study the specialisation Greenhouse Horticulture during my master.

Besides my study, I play korfball three times a week. I am also a member of Argo, the student rowing association. In my first year I rowed a lot, but nowadays Argo is more a place to relax and socialize with my society Erythros.  Last year, I was one of the members of Semper Florens’ committee that organised the abroad study trip to the South of Spain. This year I joined the excursion committee, so a new challenge.

May 2015

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13th of May: Today, the experiments start. First I have to select seedlings, that I want to use. Quite a difficult task, because the seedlings aren’t uniform at all. After making 4 groups of plants, my buddy and I distributed them between the different treatments. Looking at my watch, oh no I am not sure if I can finish the work in time… I have to give lectures during the afternoon. Just continue… The plants are ready to be transported to the climate chambers. After transporting them, we have to arrange them over the whole tablet.  Time is still ticking. We have also to start a side experiment, but I have to go. Fortunately, my buddy finish the work and I give my lecture.

Just a busy day at the HAS, happily not every day is like this one.  However, you have to combine many more activities compared to be just a student and following courses or doing a thesis. This is nice because of the diversity, but it demands more planning and flexibility.

During the research, I had to overcome some problems. Broken photosynthesis measuring machines, plants who reacts like the light intensity is too low. I would say, you learn a lot from struggles, maybe even more than without.

I very like the education part of my internship. Giving lectures and mentoring some students during their internships is very nice. Working with people instead of only plants. Most of my internship students are working in tree nurseries. I learn a lot, when reading their reports and in a few weeks I will visit their companies.

During the weekend of Whitesunday, I was in Venice. Together with 16 others from my rowing association we went there to row the Vogalonga. The Vogalonga is a 30 km rowing journey through and around Venice. It was very crowed, but an experience that I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Upcoming month I have to finish my experiment and report, so busy….

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April 2015

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Time flies! Immediately from the beginning of my internship, I feel comfortable. Nice people and work. The majority of the days I work in Den Bosch and I still live in Wageningen. Waking up early, going by car to Geldermalsen, taking the train to Den Bosch, walking for several minutes and in the evening the other way around. Much more time than cycling to the university, but doable.

As I told in my previous blog, I just started my internship at the university of applied sciences in Den Bosch. A very nice opportunity to explore if education is what I want. Besides education activities, I do also a research in the climate rooms. It is about enhancing the production of lettuce in climate rooms, so cultivating without daylight.

I will give classes in the course: future farming. As the course name already told, it is about cultivation in the future. Students have to think about new  business opportunities. Besides I will mentor some first year students during their first internship. It is divers programme, what I like very much until now.

During the evenings, I still try to have a share in student life. Eating with my corridor and going to Argo. However, waking up early means also going to bed early, so gradually I say goodbye to my student life.

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March 2015

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JEEEEEH I did it! I finished my master thesis. Quite strange to work such a long time on a topic and then it is over.
Last month, I mainly focused on finalizing my thesis, so typing, typing, typing…. And then at the 19th of March, it was time to hand in my thesis. The day before,  I was a little bit stressed: “Do I finish in time?”. So I worked also during the evening. However, this was not really needed, because I printed my thesis at 15:30. Perfectly on time. My supervisor asked me: “Are you happy now, that you finished your thesis?”. At that moment, I did not feel different compared to before I handed in my thesis. Indeed, I had to make my presentation, so I did not totally finish yet.

One week after handing in my thesis, I had my final colloquium and afterwards the defense. Everything went quite well. So I got my final grade: a 7.5 :D

Now, I have one week off, doing nothing since a long time. After Eastern, I will start with my internship. My internship will be at the university of applied sciences in Den Bosch. I get the opportunity to discover if I like teaching. Besides I will do research on growing plants without solar light by using LEDs.

Be continued!

February 2015

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I woke up in the middle of the night… Where am I? Still in the office in Bleiswijk. Oh no, it is my parent’s home. Yesterday, I finished my first concept, maybe I worked too hard and long to finish it…

Last month, I started with my progress report presentation. During this presentation you present your first results to your fellow students. A nice moment to practice again your presentation skills before you will have your final colloquium. This was also the moment, that I planned the last milestones to finish my thesis. Then I realized that I have to hurry up to finish my thesis in time. It is possible to do it in time and deadlines stimulates you to really finish instead of muddling along.

So, rest of the month was typing, typing and typing. Since I was not bound to one place, where I have to work, I hopped around. Partly Wageningen, where I could meet some friends and doing sports during the evenings. Partly Bleiswijk, where I had full focus with concerns of my aunt and uncle. Partly my parents home, this switching of environments was very nice during the same days of typing. By now, I finished my first two concepts and while I am waiting for comments of my supervisors, I working on my appendix and relaxing a little bit.

Next week I have finish my report and afterwards preparing my colloquium. If all goes well, next blog I can say: I finished my thesis!

P.S. Last blog I told that there was a journalist taking pictures of the experiment and now I can say I was in the trade journal : groenten & fruit (see the picture).

January 2015

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Darkness. Six o’clock in the morning and yes I wake up. Taking a shower, eating breakfast and preparing lunch. Afterwards, I go to the greenhouses to do my measurements. Today I have to measure leaf angles of the plants. The first part of the day, I am a little bit searching to become again familiar with the measurements. The first set of measurements took me a lot of time and a simple calculation was enough to conclude that I could not do all the measurements I want to do. Despite this conclusion, I continued and happily I became more familiar and faster. Yes, I thought…. But then knocking on the door…. Hi, we want to make pictures of the experiment for the professional journal… It is nice to have attention on the experiments, but meanwhile the time is still ticking away. Fortunately, I finished exactly in time, just 10 minutes before the lights of the experiment were switched off. After a day, full of measurements I updated the logbook and answered mails. At around 17.30, I went to my uncle and aunt. Walking in, I already smell the nice cooking of my aunt. I am so happy J

Just one way of doing measurements. Last month I did my last experiment, so time to conclude. The countdown of my thesis can almost start…. The experiment went quite well. Doing measurements the second time is much more relax than doing it the first time. My supervisor warned me: never repeat a good experiment… quite strange, because to make proper conclusions, you need repetitions. Nowadays I understand, because my results are not totally the same.  Happily, they are not totally inversely, so I did not have to throw away all my already thought ups.

So February, this month will be in contrast with January. Sitting again behind my desk instead of walking around in the greenhouse. Totally different, but also a nice variation and last but not least the countdown to the end!

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December 2014

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The last day of the year, the last hours of 2014. Today I am in Bleiswijk, doing light measurements… Plant growth do not stop during Christmas holidays. My next experiment will start next week, so I have to make sure that the growing conditions are good. However working, when other people have holidays, has also benefits. No traffic jam and WUR Greenhouse horticulture has the tradition of baking deep-fried dough balls. So yesterday you could smell the activities of them in the whole the greenhouse and creates a nice atmosphere.

Fortunately, I had one week off before  Christmas. I went to Julianadorp, a village by the sea, with my family. A week of relaxing. It was blowing hard, so an enjoyed week of fresh air. Ready for the second experiment of my thesis.

The rest of December, I analysed my data and started writing my discussion. Besides, there were lots of side activities. There was a EU meeting of the program, where my project is part of. The HI-LED project is not only about LED lighting in horticulture, but also about the use in museums and about the human perception. The meeting aimed to update all partners and also to discuss what to do in the future. It was a long day listening, but it was nice to hear what the other partners are doing with LED lighting.

A light event took also place in WUR Greenhouse horticulture in Bleiswijk halfway December. Lots of people came to this event, this confirms that light is a hot topic. They also visited our experiment, it was nice to hear the reactions of people, that I can also use as input for the discussion part of my thesis. Besides visiting the greenhouses, there were also workshops. I took the workshops about monitoring photosynthesis and the use of light as regulator of growth and flowering. Both workshops gave a brief overview of the new developments on those topics.

The year of WUR Greenhouse horticulture was ended by a last meeting with an overview of last year and followed by a nice dinner. This took place at Anthura. Anthura has a new and quite impressive building at a place, where no other buildings are so far. We drove on the lane to it and it looks like a theme park, not like a Anthurium breeding and propagating company. Unfortunately the tour at the company could not take place, but it was nice to be there, even though we saw only the exterior and the building in front of the greenhouses.  

Those mentioned activities make my thesis a little bit more special and also more interesting, because you are more like an employee than a student. So a nice bridge between student and grad.

Off to 2015, starting my second experiment, so a busy month is coming!

A happy and healthy 2015!


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November 2014

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November was quite different compared to October. No running and working almost nonstop. A relief. Also difficult, because you are tended to do nothing… but lots of data still awaiting.

Last month, I had time to analyze my data and figuring out statistics. So everything will be clear to me, when I have my second data set of the repeated experiment of January. Lots of computer work instead of doing measurements in the greenhouses. Next to statistics, I spent time on figuring out the reasons behind my results, why the plants had behaved in the way they did. This included also doing some literature research. Next month I will combine everything for a first set up of my report and in January I will do the repetition of my experiment. Hopefully this will result in comparable data as the first one, but some people say: never repeat a nice experiment. We will see, if I have to do a lot of new reasoning after January.

Working in Wageningen and this relatively quiet period of my thesis gives scope to doing some side activities. Together with my dispute I organized a cheese fondue dinner for our rowing association, WSR Argo. This is always on third Thursday of November together with Beaujolais nouveau. This is a red wine produced in the Beaujolais region of France. It just fermented for a few weeks, so a young wine. During the dinner, a bottle of Beaujolais is auctioned and this year we offered most money, so a big bottle (1,5l) of Beaujolais was ours. Next to the Beaujolais we were busy finding new members for our dispute and we also had the yearly ball of Argo. A very nice evening with beautiful dresses and haircuts, a wonderful location in a castle, so very special compared to a normal party.

Christmas is coming soon, maybe too soon, because I have to write a huge part of my report first. And then I have a few days off, so reason enough to work hard.

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October 2014

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YES DONE! My first experiment is already over. The last 3 weeks, I was very busy with doing measurements, measurements and more measurements. When you want to create a good view of physiology, morphology and growth of plants, you have to measure lots of parameters. This in just three weeks, because otherwise the plants become too big with the consequence of  falling over and shading each other. Conclusion, a very tight planning of long days with no space for bad luck. Fortunately, things worked out well.

The best of all, there are huge differences between the treatments, that you can already observe by eye. So probably this will also be the case, when analyzing the data. However, I had not any time to have a good look to my results during the measurements. Luckily, I have 2 months of no experiments, time to analyze my data and writing a part of my report. This need to be done, because January is the repetition of my experiment and then just one month is left to finish everything. Keeping in mind, writing takes always longer then you suspect.

Since my experiments are in Bleiswijk and I worked very long hours, I decided to stay at my uncle’s and aunt’s home. This was very nice, coming home tired and dinner was ready J However, I had to miss my friends and activities in Wageningen. During next month, there are lots of activities of Argo, the rowing association. So it is also nice to be back again.

September 2014


Hi! It feels like holidays were over for a long time,  but it is just five weeks.  As I told in my last blog, I am doing my master thesis at the moment. The start of the academic year was directly busy. I had to write my research proposal of my thesis, because within five weeks my own experiment had to start.

My thesis is about the effect of different colors of light provided by LEDs on young tomato plants. On the first hand it sounds maybe easy, just putting some tomato plants in the greenhouse and measuring the effect on the plants. However the theory behind is much more complicated. In the beginning it made me sometimes crazy, happily when you go into literature it becomes more clearly and I can see it more as a challenge.   

My thesis is part of a bigger project with the same lighting strategy, but another crop, pepper. That experiment was performed the last 4 weeks and I also helped to do some measurements. A nice change to the literature and also very helpful for my own experiment to see how to perform measurements properly.

During the evenings I am also busy, fortunately I enjoy the activities I had. The first year committee of Semper Florens organized the first year dinner to introduce the new students to our study association. Also W.S.R. Argo, the rowing association, had the introduction time for the first year students. It is always nice to see those new students walking around, like fresh air in a stuffy room.

Next week my experiment will start, so a period of doing lots of measurements to gather data will start.


June 2014

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It is already the last week of the academic year, so also for Academic Consultancy Training(ACT). Last weeks, I was very busy by doing a lot of interviews and writing the reports. Happily we finished last Thursday our final report in time. Upcoming week we have to do a presentation and writing our final reflection paper. In the reflection paper we look back at what we have learned as individual and also as team.

Last month I met a lot of different people during the interviews. During those interviews I recognize that people are very interested in our work and they really want to help us. In the beginning the whole structure of the municipality of Almere was unclear and also contacting them was difficult. Fortunately people who we interviewed know people of the municipality and so indirectly we came finally in contact with people of the municipality. Step by step we investigate what people, who want to start a neighborhood vegetable garden, have to do to realize their idea. In my opinion our final product, a manual to start a neighborhood vegetable garden, is very nice and helpful for Almere’s citizens. Hopefully the people who want to start a garden and our commissioner will also be satisfied. 

The end of the academic year also means barbecue, barbecue, barbecue... I barbecued last week 5 times…. Happily all the barbecues were very nice. Upcoming week the last activity of Argo, the rowing association, will take place. It is a rowing regatta organized by Argo in Amsterdam on the famous Bosbaan.  

Next year I will start my MSC thesis. As during my bacheor’s I will again do my thesis research in Bleiswijk. It is a project that will investigate the effect of different colors of LEDs on young tomato plants. Next year I will tell you more. Wish you a pleasant holiday!

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May 2014

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I started this month with finishing my last courses of my life. I passed my last exam, so I have no exams anymore. Sounds really weird. As I told in my last blog, I am busy with academic consultancy training at the moment. Together with 4 others from different study programs, I do a project about neighbourhood vegetable gardens in Almere. We have to investigate the problems that people experiencing by starting up this kind of gardens. Our proposal was just finized and from next week on we will start with getting information. Getting this information is in a totally different way, than  that I normally used to. Instead of doing experiments with plants, I have to go to people and interviewing them. It is nice to work with people from different backgrounds and doing something else than really learning stuff.

Beside academic consultancy training, I also have to do two mini courses of three afternoons. During these courses we train scientific skills. I chose management skills and consultancy skills. During the management course we learn more about different type of managers. A manager is not only a big boss, who delegates, but it is also a team coach and networker. Self-presentation by a elevating pitch and bringing bad news are part of the course too.  The consultancy course is about the consultancy process, which steps can you do during a consultant. We also have to dig out a case by ourselves.

Next to busy days at the university, there are lots of other activities. We, as the excursion committee, organized an excursion to GreenQ. It was like meeting an old friend, since I did a mini internship at this company as I told you in my blog of March. It was amazing to see the people back and it was also nice to see the horticulture in practice again instead of  the theory from the books. Besides I had some parties, the ball of Semper Florens was the most amazing one of the parties. Together with 4 other study associations we went to villa Sonsbeek in Arnhem in our nice dresses and suits.

Last weekend was also great, together with my dispute of Argo, the rowing association, we went to the Ardennen. Besides enjoying the nice weather and chatting, we kayaked and climbed and clambered in the tops of trees.

In my next blog I will tell you about the progresses of ACT.


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April 2014

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I almost finalized my last 2 courses of my life! As I told you in my last blog, in the mornings  I have the course advanced methods for plant-climate research in controlled environment and in the afternoons didactic skills. The course didactic skills is totally different from all other courses I had before. We are only with 13 students doing this course. There is very relax and good atmosphere. Despite those nice atmosphere and having fun, I learned a lot. We had to do 3 kinds of presentations: presenting, interacting and facilitating group work. We learned how to set up those didactic methods and by doing the presentations and getting feedback we learned how to improve our presentation skills.

During the mornings I was busy with lectures and our own research, as I told in my last blog. We investigate the effect of additional blue light on the morphology of the above part of young cucumber plants when the plants grow under shading conditions. Last week we did our measurements, but unfortunately our results differ from what we expected based on literature. So upcoming week there is enough work to do trying to explain those results.

Happily there were also some nice activities during the evenings and weekends. I went to the most famous student rowing regatta of the year, the Varsity. Despite Argo didn’t win, it was a very great day.

Next month I will start with the academic consultancy training. This is a project I will do with students from different studies. Together with the group we have to carry out a project for a company. There are many different kind of projects. I already wrote an application letter for a project. Hopefully I will be assigned to the project of my first choice! In my next blog I will let you know!

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March 2014

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Pff it is already April 1st.  Time flies. The first two weeks of last month I was doing an orientation internship at a horticulture knowledge company, as I told in my last blog. Next to research the company provides also crop support and educational services and training. The company has researches in many different crops, so during the 2 weeks of internship I have seen a lot of different things. The 2 weeks were flying by and I enjoyed it, so a confirmation that I am in the right direction for career orientation.

Thereafter the holidays were already over, it was too short, as always. Now during this period of 8 weeks, I am following 2 courses. And this are already the last 2 courses of my masters, so probably my last courses forever. Sounds weird, considering that I have to study for one year more to do my thesis and internship.

During the mornings I have the course advanced methods for plant-climate research in controlled environment and in the afternoons didactic skills. The morning course is a perfect preparation for my thesis. We learn in detail, how to set up a research and also some methods, so very useful. Together with one other person I have to do a research on cucumber plants related to plant morphology and shape. The cucumber plants had a fixed treatment of three different light conditions. We have already made our conceptual design, so the research aim, questions and hypothesis. Upcoming weeks we will make our technical design and execute our experiment.

Besides studying I had lots of other nice activities. For example with the excursion committee we organised a tour to a paper factory, a real different use of plants we are usually looking at. Now we are already preparing a new excursion for the last period of the year. I also pooled for the first time of my life, this activity was organised by the board of Semper Florens to thank their committees. And of course I have enjoyed the weather J

Next blog I will tell you more about my afternoon course and also the progressions of our research during the mornings. Enjoy the nice weather!

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February 2014

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As I have told you in my last blog, last month I had a small holiday, because I earned study credits by organizing the abroad excursion of Semper Florens to Spain last summer. The first two weeks of February I was working in the greenhouses of a breeding company. Most of the time I had to count and weigh leek seeds for an upcoming trial. Despite the work is easy, it is nice to see the learned stuff of the courses in practice and during our study you don't really learn to work practically, so a nice complement to our study.

After those 2 weeks I went to Tenerife. This was amazing, the sun was shining and I could wear my shorts. The first thing I noticed during my trip from the airport to our hotel was just a plastic sea like I saw in Almeria last summer. However it was not a sea of plastic greenhouses, it were banana plantages. In the south of Tenerife the sun is very intensive; therefore the bananas were covered by jute to protect them. Next to the bananas I saw a lot of other nice plants, who are not growing in the Netherlands like papaya, dragon trees and cactuses.   

One week Tenerife was definitely too short, however I didn't have to complain, because I was only one day at home and thereafter I went to Londen. This was totally different in relation to Tenerife especially the weather. Besides the buildings, we visited also a lot of parks and surprisingly a lot of trees were in already in blossom and the spring flowers were flowering.

Now, the last two weeks of my holiday, I have a small orientation internship at a horticulture knowledge company to get a better view of horticulture and job possibilities after my study. In my next blog I will tell you more about my experiences of the internship.

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January 2014

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Last month was very busy. I followed, during this four weeks period, the course greenhouse technology. During the mornings we had lectures and in the afternoons computer practical trainings and to top things off we also had every week a test. One big advantage of busy periods is in my opinion that time really flies. Fortunately now I can say that I passed the course, so the busy weeks were for a good reason.

The course greenhouse technology mainly focused on the engineering aspects of greenhouses in interaction with crop growth. We had this course together with the students of agricultural and bioresource engineering. As the combination of study programs reflects, the course was much more technical than the courses we had before. However, it is very helpful to learn more about the greenhouse climate engineering, because we learned in the courses before what climate is needed for the crop and now we know better how to reach the good climate.

At almost the last day of the course we had an excursion to a rose grower, tomato grower and to the research institute WUR greenhouse horticulture to see the learned material in reality. Although I saw greenhouses before during previous courses, the growers had some nice technology that I had never seen before.  The rose grower had a system that automatic circulates the rose crop through the greenhouse, so the employees don’t have to go through the crop to harvest. The tomato grower made use of geothermal heat and he had also a greenhouse with double glazing. So we had a nice day to conclude the course.

Next to studying, during the evenings, I had some time left to do nice activities. For example the new year’s dinner of Semper Florens, the study association. We start every new year with this dinner to have a nice and tasteful start of the year.

The next few weeks I have got a small holiday, because I earned study credits by organizing the abroad excursion to Spain last summer. So coming month I will first work for two weeks and afterwards I will go to Tenerife and London. So a good time is coming!

December 2013

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At almost the last day of the year, I wrote my last blog of the year. When seen in today’s light, it was a nice year, that went really fast. It is a good sign, because time flies when you are having fun! December was marked by the completion of the two courses of the second period of the academic year. I had the last lectures of both courses, product quality and post-harvest physiology and financial management in agriculture, I had to write the report about the practicals of the post-harvest course and finally I had to learn all the stuff to complete successfully both courses.

As I promise in my last blog, I will tell you something about the course financial management in agriculture. This course is about the economics of farm business with a focus on financial management and accounting. So we learned to deal with financial information of the farms to find the strengths and the weaknesses of the farm. Good interpretation of the financial data is needed to take the right decisions in the future. The course included lectures, computer practicals and group assignments. The computer practicals and group assignments ensured a better understanding, because during those activities you really have to work with the financial information. So it is not a plant course, but in my opinion a nice course to expand my specialization greenhouse horticulture.

After I did my exams, I finally had two weeks off to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve with family and friends. When the holidays started, I did not really had the Christmas feeling, because I was busy with learning. So the first day of the holidays  I decorated the Christmas tree at my parents home. From that moment, I had the Christmas and holiday feeling, finally!

After the holidays, which will go definitely too fast, we have a short period of only four weeks. During this small period I will follow the course greenhouse technology. 

I wish you all a happy 2014!

November 2013

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The busiest month of the year, December, started, but before celebrating ‘sinterklaas’, Christmas and New Year’s Eve I will tell you about November. As I told you in my last blog, I started two new courses, during the morning the course product quality and post-harvest physiology and in the afternoon financial management in agriculture.

Product quality and post-harvest physiology, as its name suggests, is about what happens to the product after harvest. The first two week, we had every morning lectures about respiration, transpiration, membranes, ethylene, cut flowers, cooling, storage and botrytis. So both fundamental and applied subjects, this makes the course very interesting in my opinion. After those two weeks of lectures the ‘real’ work started, we had to do practicals every morning for three weeks.

The practicals were divided into five subjects, including ripening of banana, temperature effect on ethylene damage of carnations, effect of modified atmosphere packaging on respiration rate of Brussels sprouts, vase life of rose flowers and sugar increase in potato by low storage temperature and quality for chips. It is nice to combine the learned knowledge of lectures with the real world, then you learn the stuff better. Upcoming weeks I have to write all those practical reports and then we have to learn everything, because before the Christmas holidays I have already the exam.

Besides the courses I had also two career activities last month. Those activities are nice opportunities to discover job opportunities after my masters. With probably less than two years to go and not a real image what I want to do after my studies, it is even more important. There are many job options when you studied plant sciences and I also like many things, but what I really really want to do, I don’t know. At the career evening of Semper Florens, there were four speakers, who told about their career development. The best message, I took from one of them , was that I first have to think what I want in a job instead of what I am doing now: looking around to find ,what are the opportunities?, so  I have to start more from myself.

Next blog I will tell you more about my afternoon course: Financial management in agriculture. Have a nice December month!

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October 2013

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At the beginning of last month, during the second part of the first period, I was busy with writing an essay about the stimulation of seed germination by smoke. I wrote this essay for my morning course, plant plasticity and adaptation. Smoke from burned plant material is chemically able to stimulate germination in a wide range of seeds due to its active compound: karrikins. Karrikins signal the seeds underground that the environment is optimal for seedling establishment after the fire destroyed its competition and replenished the soil with nutrients. Predominantly, they do so by sensitizing the seeds’ perception of changes in the ABA/GA balance which leads to germination. This effect makes karrikins useful for agricultural and horticultural practises to stimulate quick germination by applying it through priming or coating crop seeds or as ‘herbicide’ by stimulating (too) early germination of weeds. 

With the other course, accounting, we learned about the use of information gathering and processing for decision making, stock valuation, profit calculation and reporting. So this course totally differs from our normal plant courses. However, if a farmer or grower is willing to use new technologies, the main question is most of the time is: ‘Is it financial attractive to implement this new technology?’. Therefore I think this course is very useful, but most important: I also like the economic stuff next to plant related subjects.

 Before I went into the full learning modus, we had the afterparty of the buitex, the abroad excursion of the study association. During this evening we were eating paella, drinking sangria, bringing up memories and playing the game weerwolven (werewolves). It was very nice to see each other again and it was a nice ending of a busy year of preparing the Buitex.

Last two weeks, I lived almost in isolation to learn all the stuff of the courses. It is not easy to keep your good temper during those weeks, but hopefully I passed both exams then the isolation was for a reason. In the second period I will take during the morning the course product quality and post-harvest physiology and in the afternoon financial management in agriculture, so again a combination of plants and business economics.

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September 2013

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The first month of the new academic year is already over. During the last exam week of previous year I passed my last bachelor courses, so I started this year as a master plant science student. But before the start of the new academic year, during holidays, I finally went to Spain with the Buitex trip. After months of organising, we can look back on a very successful journey. We saw a lot new cultivations, like rice, olives and mango. After this tour and one week of holidays in Italy I worked a month in the greenhouses of a breeding company to earn money. It is nice to have a summer job in the plant sciences, because then learned stuff and practice came together.

During my master, I will do courses from the greenhouse horticulture specialization supplemented by courses of business economics and other broader plant related courses. This first period I have been following during the mornings plant plasticity and adaptations and during the afternoons accounting.

With plant plasticity and adaptation we learn about the adaptation mechanisms of plants to environmental variations and extremes at the levels of water, light and nutrient availability, salinity, mechanical and temperature stress. This is done by changes in the basal morphological and physiological processes. During this course we have lectures and practicals and we have also to write a essay. So we apply the theoretical learned things of the lectures during our practicals. For example we compared tissue of flooded and dry plants of the same species to explore the adaptations of the plants. Those practicals cause a much better understanding of the topics.

Next week is already the last ‘real’ week of the period. Afterwards we have a week to learn all stuff, followed by a week of exams. In the next weblog I will tell you more about the other course: accounting.

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