Soilprep400 is a big machine and we have already seen that it probably is too big (Even the people which came from USA to watch our equipment in Germany thought it was too small !!). There is a big problem to transport it since it is 4 meters wide. This means special transport which is difficult and expensive. This is typically things that happens when you do not do enough preparations before you start to build. It is easy to say later, but you should never underestimate the value of good preparations. Anyway; after finishing steaming with Knaskerøtter in Norway, we shipped the machine to Mr. Osterloh to help him in his strawberry fields. Ostherloh is one of Germanys biggest strawberry growers, and that means a lot bigger than what we are used to in Norway. During peak season he has 4000 workers in his farm. He has bought an old airport and build houses to his workers. In this facility he also runs a groceryshop and a bar, only for his workers. There are busses that transports the strawberry pickers around on the farm. When you do intensive growing of strawberry you will very often (if not always) get problems with fungi. When you get that it will be impossible to get normal harvest on that field again for many years. For a specialist of strawberry like this is not easy to start growing something else either, and therefore the land, which was most exposed to fungi, was only grass when we came down there. Imagine; top quality soil in some of the best growing areas in Europe, not productive… Unfortunately, this is more and more common nowadays. It is the price we pay for the continuous hunt for bigger harvest and more effective agriculture.
Anyway, we came down to Osterloh and started to steam, but we were not alone. There were other people there which have heard that we were coming with our machine. The first day we were going to steam there was a lot of people coming. There were people from Asia, USA, Holland, Germany and France. All of them had been flying into this small city, Visbek, to see our machine. There was really nothing to say about the interest. If we had known this up front, we would probably have done a couple of weeks more testing in Norway first. Anyway: The demonstration went OK, and many of the people that was there wanted our help asap… Well, this was still a prototype. This means that it still needs a lot of work in order to be a product that you can sell. This is where small companies often do wrong. They make a machine and they think and hope that this machine is something we can sell. After driving it for a couple of days/weeks and months, you learn that it is still not good enough. Sometimes it is enough to optimize and improve something, but often you have to make a complete new machine… Here most small companies has a lot to learn this the hard way. So did we.
We were steaming 16 hours days in 14 days. It was up to 30 degrees and hot. We got a great tan 😊