Closing the loop – Using residues in growing media

Agaris is partner in the European Horti-BlueC research project. The project will investigate the upcycling of circular products from agriculture and fisheries for use in horticulture.

The Horti-BlueC project was approved in February and will receive European funding within the Interreg 2 Seas Program. Agaris is a partner within the consortium, alongside TNO (the Netherlands), Université de Lille (France), ILVO (Belgium), PC Hoogstraten (Belgium), ADAS (UK), Cato Engineering (the Netherlands), University of Portsmouth (UK) and NIAB EMR (UK).

The project investigates the possibilities to recycle side streams from agriculture and fisheries as environmentally-friendly and circular economy resources for sustainable growing media, replacing peat, coir or stone wool. Residues from shellfish contain chitin which can be used in substrates, while wood remains or used substrates can be transformed into plant fibres and biochar. Released gases can be used for the production of CO2 to optimize growth in greenhouses. In addition, both chitin and biochar are natural crop protection agents, avoiding the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Horti-BlueC will focus on the cultivation of strawberries and tomatoes. The research project maps both the practical implications and the economical balance for the use of the side streams. The project will run from February 2018 to October 2021 and has a total budget of 3.35 million euro.

This project has received funding from the Interreg 2 Seas programme 2014-2020 co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund under subsidy contract No 2S03-046.

Fruit and vegetables