March 30, 2015

Drone to deliver asparagus, ringing in the season

Filed under: Food & Drink,Gadgets,Technology by Orangemaster @ 12:55 pm

One-Michelin-star restaurant De Zwaan in Etten-Leur, Noord-Brabant likes to make a splash in spring once white asparagus season kicks off and what better way to do that than having a drone deliver the white gold to your door.

On 1st April (no joke), a drone with a 15-minute battery that needs to fly 12 minutes avoiding all kinds of buildings and bridges according to many rules will drop off a crate of asparagus at the kitchen door of the restaurant. There’s a backup battery and a Plan B to land nearby if the wind is too much.

It’s not the first time De Zwaan and its owner Roland Peijnenburg have marked the start of asparagus season by creating a buzz. They’ve also used a hot air balloon carrying the town mayor and once had an asparagus relay race.

When you mention asparagus in the Netherlands, people think white asparagus and not green asparagus first. Here’s a white asparagus cocktail appetizer recipe for you as well.

(Link:, Photo of asparagus by Stephan Mosel, some rights reserved)

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June 17, 2010

Neighbourhood cops that twitter

Filed under: Online by Branko Collin @ 8:43 pm

Meet Peter Smaardijk and Ilse Segers, twittering cops. These two police officers from Etten-Leur and Breda respectively have started posting about their beat from their Blackberries last week.

Together with two officers from Tilburg they will post tweets about their daily police life in order to be more accessible. The Noord Brabant police also hopes to increase its network of eyes and ears this way.

In practice, the four officers twitter both standard police announcements (“watch out for pick pockets”) and their day-to-day affairs (“Spent the rest of the night writing the report.”). The police recommend citizens do not to use Twitter to report a crime.

(Photo: / Politie Midden en West Brabant. Link: BN/De Stem.)

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January 10, 2010

Etten-Leur buys bath salts against frost

Filed under: Automobiles,Nature by Branko Collin @ 4:29 pm

The city of Etten-Leur in Noord-Brabant has purchased 18 tonnes of bath salts to sprinkle roads with, in an attempt to keep the roads from freezing.

Salt lowers the temperature at which water freezes. Municipalities and Rijkswaterstaat keep about 100,000 tonnes of coarse ‘strooizout’ (lit. sprinkling salt) ready to keep roads clear from snow and black ice at temperatures of about -10 degrees Celsius or higher. Because of this year’s wintry conditions, some municipalities have already run out of stock.

Etten-Leur’s bath salt stems from a batch condemned by its producers. Some of the salt already had perfume and colouring added. The city expects to not have to use its bath salts, as new shipments of regular road salt is expected to arrive this weekend. According to Radio Netherlands, “the coloured bath salts smell of lavender, green tea and mango.”

The minister of internal affairs, Guusje ter Horst, has given the green light to produce more road salt than usual, despite environmental concerns. Strooizout is a very aggressive product that can rust cars faster, changing the selection of fauna along roads, leading to maritime plants growing inland.

(Photo by Flickr user sburke2478, some rights reserved)

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