Internship cooperation with AERES Hogeschool (NL) - Aniek and Marjolein on board

Marjolein and Aniek getting first insight in our citybotanicals greenhouse

Marjolein and Aniek getting first insight in our citybotanicals greenhouse

In 2019 we decided to have the first time two interns here at hei-tro. It was a little bit a coincidence because without the request of our friend Henk Renting - with which we worked together in the ERASMUS+ project ‘Urban Green Train’ - we never thought about it before. But in the process of - at the end - confirming the request we liked the idea more and more. And so after the 5 weeks of internship of Aniek and Marjolein we are totally happy with our decision!

Here is their report about their time here.

First time in Dortmund and I couldn’t ask for better weather for my internship. I had a great time at hei-tro GmbH in Dortmund which is specialized in aquaponics and urban food strategies.

The first week here I learned a lot about how an aquaponic system works. I also learned a lot about preparing a system for the new grow season.

In my second week we started cleaning the aquaponic system for the new season. Our coach Axel Störnzer gave us the opportunity to use one of the greenhouses for realizing our own plan of growing different kinds of  vegetables! We had to make a selection and plan out, which plants we wanted in our greenhouse. After we made a groundplan with all the relevant distances between the plants , we picked up the selected plants at Werkhof Projekt gGmbH / Demeter Gärtnerei .

During our internship at hei-tro we worked a couple of days at the werkhof market garden. We did this to learn more about where the young plants come from, how they are seeded and how they are treated to develop best. The Werkhof is a biological-dynamic producer of seeds and plants, so we learned a lot about how they make their produce.

Furthermore at hei-tro we cleaned the sedimentation-filters of the aquaponic system and harvested the vegetables from the last season.

Starting our third week, we put the new plants, we got from the Werkhof, in the grow beds. At this point the system was almost ready for the new season. The plants for the soil-based greenhouses were also planted. After we were done with our own greenhouse, we had some plants left. We put these plants in privately used greenhouse on the VITAVIA greenhouse-exhibition area, on the other side of the building. One of the owners was very happy with our work and so he invited us for lunch as a thank you!

That week we also weighed and measured all the fish in the fish tank. We did this, so we could calculate how much fish feed is needed to put in the tank every day. In our fourth week we took care of all the plants in the greenhouse.

We also seeded some radish in another  privately used greenhouse per request. Again we also worked a day at the Werkhof where we seeded a broad selection of tomato plants for the new season. The next day we were back at hei-tro Axel has given us a special task: we had to build an improvised led-light grow station for microgreens. We were only allowed to use materials that were already in the workshop. Also we started cleaning some of the older aquaponic components so they could be used again. During our fifth and final week at hei-tro, we cleaned some more used equipment andthe windows of the greenhouses, so the sunlight can reach the plants better.

All in all I had a great time at Hei-tro and learned so much about aquaponic systems and how the citybotanicals-aquaponic-systems of Hei-tro could be used by households. I really want to thank Axel Störnzer for the great experiences and guidance throughout the internship. Especially considering I was one of the first interns he ever had.


Thank you!

It was a great experience and fun!

Axel Störzner