Nursery greenhouse for Lincelam organic farm
Help our farm to an even more sustainable future!
Nursery greenhouse for Lincelam organic farm
Every day, three times a day we sit around the table. Primary need number one is and remains our food! From time to time it is important to consider how this food is grown. Organic farm Lincelam would like to take this responsibility and be part of the exciting search for a new agriculture for the future.
New agriculture for the future
Firstly, we think small-scale is important. Our farm has 2.7 hectares. About half of this surface is used for vegetable cultivation. The other half offers space for different pieces of edible forest gardens that are being planted step by step. But there are also ponds and wild hedges all around the field, all this to maximize biodiversity.
To make and keep this small-scale agriculture viable, direct sales are essential. With our produce and that of fellow organic farmers, I go to the weekly Tuesday market in Roeselare and the Friday market in Nieuwpoort. People from the immediate area can also visit our farm shop. This way we make the distance between farmer and plate as short as possible. Final result: a super fresh product on your plate!
Who is farmer Bert ?
After a carefree childhood in the small village of Leisele, I ended up in Ghent for my further studies. However, because the big city of Ghent was not far enough to satisfy my desire for the exotic, I traveled through Western Africa for a year. It was in Senegal finally, that I got to know organic farming. There I stayed and helped for a couple of weeks on a small organic farm, just long enough to experience the satisfaction of harvesting and just short enough not to be confronted with the countless trials that come with farming.
The germ had settled and when I got home I soon found the 'Landwijzer'-course for organic farming. And thus I returned to Leisele with a head full of ideas. With my girlfriend Véro, we first built an unusual eco-house and now an equally unusual farm project. In the meantime, in addition to being a full-time organic farmer, I am also a full-time proud dad of two perfect daughters.
A few years ago Alexia walked into the farm looking for an internship. She soon became an indispensable link on the farm and is now a permanent co-farmer at Lincelam!
Allocation of funds
With your support, we can succesfully finish the construction of our semi-underground nursery.
Why is a nursery necessary?
We currently purchase most of our plants from a professional organic nursery. We grow some plants ourselves indoors or in one of our plastic tunnel greenhouses, but this is limited in the absence of a professional nursery infrastructure. However, for a small organic farm like ours, it is important to have a nursery of our own. On the one hand tit enables us to decide ourselves what quantities and which varieties are sown, on the other hand to limit the purchase costs.
It is no ordinary rectangular glass nursery that we want to build. Just like the Lincelam house, the conservatory have an organic architecture. The floor plan has the shape of an arch (30 m long by 4 m wide), with the hollow side facing South. Our natural swimming pond is situated in that bend. In the winter months (when the sun is at it lowest), the sunlight is thus even more reflected on the nursery.
Following the Bolivian Walipini greenhouse, our nursery will be built half-underground. Only the glass roof and part of the southern wall will be visible from the outside. This construction method has many advantages: We ensure a minimal visual impact on the landscape around us. But perhaps more importantly, there is much less heat loss at night compared to an ordinary greenhouse, because a large part of the walls are in the ground. In addition, the earth around the greenhouse functions as a 'thermal mass': during the day it warms up in the sun and at night it transfers this heat into the greenhouse.
We are already halfway ...
We have been able to carry out the necessary excavation work over the recent years, in combination with other excavation work that had to be done on the farm. We used reclaimed concrete L-retaining walls (North wall) and reclaimed concrete slabs (South wall, between nursery and swimming pond) to construct the walls. Now all that remains is the glass roof. For this we have the remains of an authentic grape greenhouse from the Overijse region at our disposal.
The structure of the roof construction is as follows: A supporting structure supports a multitude of metal profiles. These, in turn, carry the many small glass plates that overlap like roof tiles. The metal profiles and the majority of the glass plates have been recycled, the state of the supporting structure was unfortunately too bad to be reused. The association 3WPlus, located in Brussels, specializes in the construction and restoration of such greenhouses and will assist me with tips and advice.
In order to successfully grow plants from seed, the nursery must be heated during certain periods of the year. Around the time when lots of plants need to be sown (early spring), the temperatures are too low, even in a greenhouse, to achieve good germination. The construction of our greenhouse in colaboration with the surrounding thermal mass ensures that this heat is used optimally.
What we need to achieve all this:
- Support structure: € 3700
- Extra glass plates: € 550
- Waterproofing the glass plates: € 800
- Wall with entrance: € 550
- Nursery tables: € 650
- Heating: € 2800
- Irrigation: € 450
Total = € 9500 (5% KKBB commission, 3% bank charges)