Ep. 20 Alex van Tuyll ~Organic waste management & food growing with AMI

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Dear Wachama People!

With the development of agriculture throughout history we are witnessing the process of more and more control over Mother nature. It is especially true in the case of modern agriculture whit all of its inventions such as fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, high-tech machinery and gene-technology. And even more specifically in the case of controlled indoor systems. Unfortunately, most of such innovations aimed to set up centralized systems, externalize social and environmental costs when they create their business models. Our health is in jeopardy and resources are being wasted along the supply chain. While these system superiority over nature itself is often claimed.

Alex van Tuyll is a Master student in biosystems engineering at Wageningen University. His initial interest started with a home-made hydroponics system, that he set up in his home’s attic as a teenager.

This experience determined his choice of higher education as he wanted to learn as much as possible about, how to set up indoor agriculture systems. After several years of investigating such systems he learned a lot about their viability. His main motivation behind these studies is to use organic waste for food production. On his journey on figuring out how to create more efficient nutrient cycles, Alex found an approach being developed known as AMI (pronounced like ‘Jamie’): aquaponics, mushrooms, and insects. Studying AMI Alex faced the complexity how nature actually works within the system itself. This new insight made Alex’s view shift from willing to control nature to set up systems that are mimicking natural principles and collaborating with it. So far it was a pretty steep learning curve during the Wageningen years and it is not over yet, there is still lot to learn and investigate.

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