I am writing this from the Amsterdam, Netherlands airport. Bags were packed early this morning, breakfast eaten not long after. When we were finished it was time to load luggage onto the bus. It took awhile with 70+ people traveling.
Even though this is the last day in Holland meetings were not finished. We traveled to Koeppert Cress Monster. My initial thought was it might be a cousin to the Loch Ness Monster. However, "Monster" means sample.
This business is a greenhouse that sells high end plants for cooking. They grow them right there and have a kitchen that is also set up as a studio. Top chefs come there to learn how to use these plants and how special they can be for culinary masterpieces.
Our time there started with a speaker talking about marketing agriculture products to the public. His presentation was pure gold for a farmer to utilize if they want to market their crops directly.
After that it was time for lunch. I skipped out on the question portion to take pictures of a meal that you would pay a fortune for in a restaurant. Each item was centered around a plant that was grown in the greenhouse.
The meal was started off by being handed a test tube of a lemon grass drink. Even though it looked nasty it was very refreshing and delicious. Then we had a free for all...wine included.
During lunch a person showed up that looked kind of suspect. However he was very interesting to talk to and his profession was a plant explorer. He travels around the world searching for plants that are rare and for ones that have unique characteristics for cooking.
He was a virtual encyclopedia of plants. It was amazing at his memory of the scientific name of plants, where seeds can be obtained, and who the contact for a certain plant was. Interestingly enough he has been to Moscow, Idaho.
Then we listened to the owner of Koeppert Cress, Rob Baan. He owns a movie studio and is also a farmer. He talked to us about his business and were given different plants to sample. One tasted like oysters. That was very interesting.
Rob then took us on a tour through his green house operation that is state of the art. What he has been able to do is find the light spectrum to make them grow the best and then they are shipped all over the world.
After that we headed directly to Amsterdam and the airport. Checked my luggage in without any overweight fees and got through customs fine. I finally was able to find power to charge my laptop to take pictures off the camera card .
Had a Big Mac, fries, and a coke and went through security. The plane ride was good and I was able to catch a cat nap to take the edge off.
Made it through customs at London Heathrow (it is huge) and onto the bus. I am finishing the blog at a Holiday Inn with my same roommate. I gained an hour so there is only an 8 hour difference. It is now 1:30am and the alarm is set for 5:30...going to be a long day tomorrow.