Salt Farm

Opportunities for adaptation (Kansen voor adaptatie)

Created at: 28 Sep 2017

Description

On the Island of Texel in the Dutch “Waddenzee” cooperatives of the “zilt proefbedrijf” are working and developing a salt resistant future. In the near future, there will be more and more problems with salty groundwater in our soils. This salty groundwater is caused by the pressure of salty water that is pushed into the seabed. Especially in the Netherlands, which is mostly located below sea level, this causes a phenomenon that is better known as “zoute kwel” or ‘’silty seepage’’. Because sweet water is a rare resource on the island of Texel, the zilt proefbedrijf uses these conditions as a reason and a motivation to research and develop salt water farming.
Salty groundwater is not only a problem in countries below sea level but it will be a growing problem in warm countries. And with climate change incoming these problems will keep rising.

The zilt proefbedrijf was set up to experiment with crops and 7 different concentrations of salt water. These concentrations differ from total freshwater to a salt-percentage of 30 decisiemens per square meter. The concentration of 30 decisiemens is the concentration of salt in the seawater around Texel.

The experiments are being conducted as follows:
Firstly, there is a pre-selection. This pre-selection is conducted by placing two different rows of crops. One row being sprinkled with fresh water and the other being sprinkled with salt water with a concentration of 30 decisiemens. If the crop survives the concentration of 30 decisiemens, it has passed the pre-selection. After this selection, tests are conducted to find out what the perfect salt concentration is for that specific crop. By law, these tests have to be conducted 4 times. However, since the experiments are conducted in an open field the decision was made to conduct the tests 8 times to get a more precise result.

Some of the crops are known to everyone and are already being sold. For example, different kinds of potatoes, beets, cabbage, tomatoes and carrots. However, there are a lot more crops that are tested and grown that are a lot less known. These include; IJskruid, Zeebaantjes an Fodder. These are Dutch names, the English names are unknown at this time.

The way the conditions on earth are developing at this time, it is clear that we have to develop the way we farm which means that we have to develop our taste to adapt to the new (salty) crops of the future.


Samenvatting (Dutch description)


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Iris

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