Rosanne was not here today so her father, Victor, was with us for the day. Everyone is suppose to introduce a speaker at the different places that we have been visiting. I was supposed to introduce someone at Koppert Cress but there was only one person and we already had a speaker for that person so I was put on back up. However I decided to introduce Victor that morning on the bus as we were traveling to our first place, which was at Den Haan Zaden. This is a specialized company in small-scale multiplication of flower- vegetable and grass seeds for the professional seed trade. We saw some of the equipment and how it is used and the fields where the greens were growing. They clean the seeds by a gravity separator and I learned that bigger seeds germinate better because the bigger seeds have a bigger endosperm, which is were the food source is. I thought it was interesting that there were breeding areas in the field by pollinating through the air.
Then we went to Prins & Dingemanse which is the center of shellfish farming in the Netherlands. They have been pioneers in oyster and mussel farming since 1880. They have different plots in the water for getting the shellfish that they use GPS so they know their location. It is important that the know where and when the oysters were caught for food safety reasons. I thought it was cool to see the the oysters and muscles going through the conveyor belts. With all of this shellfish in mind we went to the village of Yerseke for free time. We walked around the village and got some food at a market that was going on and then went to a restaurant that had fresh caught oysters.
Then we went to an onion farm. This company, Wiskerke Onions grow a huge variety of onions such as red onions, yellow onions, shallots, sweet onions, pink onions, and even garlic. This was the first time that our speaker was a female. She is 28 years old and she is very ambitious and has a strong vision for the future of the company. I learned so much from her about this family runned company. I learned that onions grow towards the sun and onions get more stressed during the winter time because the sun is out for a shorter amount of time. They mainly export their onions to countries in Africa and Asia due to climate, water quality, and high consumption that they cannot keep up. Then we got a tour of the storage of the onions. Afterwards, we went on the bus and Victor gave a very informative presentation about Zeeland which is covered more by water. Zeeland is known as ‘land in the sea, of the sea’. We then got dinner and then back on the bus back to the hotel. Usually every night back in the hotel lobby, a group of students lead a discussion about the day before. Since we had a long drive back, we decided to have our discussion on the bus. I was part of the leaders of the discussion and I decided to talk about the grocery store that we visited. There was so much to talk about from the day before because there was so many places that we went to. Once we got back to the hotel, I learned that Victor was leaving and Rosanne would be back for the rest of the trip. I thought he would be with us for another day at least, but I was still ready to thank him and present him a gift from the class. So today I had two leadership roles in one day. The first day we landed I was meeting manager and then today I was an introducer and facilitator. At least I was all done with my three leadership assignments and now I can relax and get ready for tomorrow where we are now all done with visiting agricultural places and we can be tourists as we explore Rotterdam and see the windmills! Stay tuned for my adventures!