‘Our company was hit by one of those thunder storms’

Since our son and daughter joined us in the business, we have been showing them how to operate all the equipment on a regular basis. Irrigation, fertilisation, the misting system, climate control, ventilation, screening. We’re covering both manual and computer operation and are making sure not to miss anything. Mats and Estelle have to learn how it all works, in case we go away for a few days.

We’re trying to teach them through our instructions. That way, hopefully they won’t have to learn from mistakes. They’re also learning by getting engaged and thinking about things themselves, and by working together with us.

In Ontario, you never know what kind of summer weather you’re going to get. This year, we had a long and intense summer. In the beginning of September, the thermometer still showed values of more than 30°C every day. But we also got some rain every other week. As a result, the grass is nice and green this year, and can be mowed weekly.

These summer showers can be heavy and are often accompanied by thunder and hailstones. The thunderstorms, rain and hail are usually very local. We were hit by one of those thunderstorms on the 3rd of September. Our company relies on a 20-metre high radio tower for its internet connection. The tower was struck by lightning. The damage to our company was big.

The radio receiver, two routers, the administration computer, the controls of the climate computer, as well as the motherboard of the climate controls, all had to be replaced.

At the moment, the hardware is working again. All that’s left now is reinstalling the software. We had to switch to manual operation of all our equipment. But luckily, within 48 hours, everything was working again.

Clen and I are now on our way to the airport for a ten-day holiday. When we come back home, I guess we’ll find out whether our instructions to Mats and Estelle were good enough.

Angelle van Kleef,

Grower of potted plants, Ontario, Canada

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