Strawberries

Strawberries

Under six hectares of glass, we cultivate the varieties Elsanta, Sonata and Arabella. Annually, we produce around 1,200,000 kilos of strawberries. The greenhouses in both Moerstraten and Lepelstraat are divided into three departments, of which two are equipped with assimilation lighting and a 99% shading screen. Because of these, we can harvest strawberries all year round. We deliver our products to The Greenery.

Our products are grown sustainably, hygienically and with respect for both man and nature. This has brought us recognition by GRASP, Tesco Nurture, GlobalGAP and PlanetProof. This underlines that our production process is not environmentally harmful, that energy use has been minimized, that waste is efficiently recycled, that we work in a labour-friendly environment, that our working methods are in tune with the capacity of our planet and that Kwekerij Loos is in compliance with all requirements with regard to labour, such as welfare, pay levels, health and safety.

The strawberry plants are grown in substrate troughs at working height, and are harvested from a standing position. The substrate troughs are filled with potting compost and peat. Bees pollinate the flowers produced by the plants. They carry pollen from the pistils to the receptacle at the base of the flower. Following this fertilization, the base of the flower develops into a strawberry.

At Kwekerij Loos, organic pest control is very important to us. So louse is tackled using gall midges, and whitefly with parasitoid wasps. We look at which specific natural enemies can best be put to use.

Rainwater is captured in water tanks and is used to good effect for the strawberries. All the water is re-used. Following harvesting, the foliage and potting compost are shredded and spread over the asparagus. Everything is co-ordinated, so that we can create a closed loop.

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Asparagus

In March and April, we harvest white asparagus from ground beside the greenhouses in Lepelstraat. Heating elements have been laid in the ground, under the asparagus beds.

‘Brabantse Wal’ asparagus can be distinguished from other asparagus by its slightly salty taste. This flavour is the result of a combination of the pure groundwater of Kalmthout Heath which flows underground towards Zeeland; and the salty sea air which, when there is a West wind, wafts from Zeeland over the Brabant Ridge.

Asparagus is a perennial crop, which means that the plants can grow in the same spot for several years. An asparagus bed has a lifetime of around ten years. The asparagus which we eat are actually young shoots, which sprout from woody roots growing in the sandy beds below.

The fleshy roots absorb water and nutrients, which results in the growth of creamy white shoots in the Spring. As soon as the young shoots start to peep out through the surface, they are harvested. If left above ground, they will turn green in just a few hours.

For the cultivation of asparagus, we raise the beds around the shoots by about 50 cm. This is to give the shoot enough room to find its way up to the light, whilst growing into a beautiful product. On harvesting, the asparagus are immediately sorted according to quality and thickness.

Healthy

Strawberries are very healthy. They have a high Vitamin C content, are low-calorie and contain a powerful antioxidant, anthocyanin. Antioxidants can have a beneficial effect on the functioning of the human body. This also applies to catechin, another substance present in strawberries. Catechin is a natural antibiotic with anti-inflammatory properties. Strawberries can also have a positive effect on blood pressure, sight and the tissues and have diuretic properties. And above all: they taste really good! Our use of assimilation lighting makes our strawberries even sweeter and full of flavour.

Just like strawberries, asparagus is very healthy and has medicinal properties. One of the elements which make asparagus so healthy is the substance asparagine.

Asparagus can be beneficial in the case of heart problems, liver impairment, rheumatism and gout.   Asparagus can also have a purifying effect on the blood and can be used as a diuretic treatment in case of bladder or kidney impairment. In ancient times, when modern medicines were not yet available, asparagus was often used for medicinal purposes. It has also been claimed that eating asparagus can help you slim. If you want to lose weight, eat asparagus three times a week! There are almost no other known foodstuffs which contain so few calories, and at the same time so many important vitamins and other nutrients. But be careful with the Hollandaise Sauce….!