Belgian Newbie Award 2020 online voting
Five laureates remain in the Newbie Award 2020 competition for the most innovative and inspiring new entrant. Besides a voting round by a professional jury of industry stakeholders, the KU Leuven also added a second voting round on social media. On the Flemish website of the Newbie project, www.biosfere.be/newbie, all five farmers are presented with a short introduction to their farm and a picture. People interested in a particular farmer can read more on their individual page and decide whether or not to vote. Voting happens on the website itself and the score is regularly updated.
Up until now it has been hugely exciting and we recommend everyone interested in innovative farms to take a look and cast their vote.
Pachagreens is a small scale greenhouse focused on the production of micro vegetables. They are a relatively new product that is not known to a lot of customers. They contain a lot more nutrients than people might expect and, most importantly, taste delicious.
Kopje Zwam aims to create a completely circular farm that only uses waste material as inputs. Currently they produce oyster mushroom on coffee grounds. Thereafter they have several cycles including peas, mushrooms, vinegar and kroepoek to reduce any waste product completely. Additionally, they produce deluxe mushroom burgers as alternative hamburgers, and do-it-yourself compost packages.
Janne and Maxime from Maïsterplan took the courageous decision to take over her parent’s farm, even though they would still need their two jobs to sustain themselves. They dream of a circular and environmentally farm that pays attention to plants, nature and the social aspect. Currently they run a very successful corn field labyrinth, just like her parents did 20 years ago.
Urban Harvest brings farming into 2020 with highly advanced and productive vertical farming. This reduces land, water and work significantly. The process hasn’t been easy, as many of the technologies are still infant, but Alexandre and Olivier have created an efficient system that produces local herbs and medicinal plants.
Vrijselhof is an ambitious organic farm currently in a start-up phase. Joe and his family work hard to make sure the soil is very carbon rich before they start production. To do this, they do not use any chalk or chemicals, resulting in a slow but very resilient process. Income is generated from small scale animal production. The end goal is a large farm that can feed local customers through a permaculture system, working in harmony with the neighboring forests.