Friday, January 2, 2015

The Very First Vertical Farming Workshop

My second video-blog is a CHRISTMAS SPECIAL!

While talking about the very first vertical farming workshop in New York, I tested my improv-skills, my video-edit-skills and of patience. Damn, video editing is a lot of work. But it's fun! Check out the result:

(Ow yeah, and because of copyright, this video is blocked in Germany. Sorry German friends.)

So, like before. Any Feedback on the video is VERY welcome. Due to a couple of honest friends I already learned this:
  • Need better preparation, my story-telling-skills aren't good enough yet to do a decent improv.
  • My stories need to be shorter and more to the point.
Enjoy and see you guys later!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Why I am Becoming a Video-Blogger

Well, the title says it all!

Friday, October 10, 2014

How Zjef will bring peace to Israel and Palestine

I want to bring harmony to Israel and Palestine, I want to end the war in the middle East and I want to end the corruption in Africa. As a matter of fact, I truly believe I can do it and this blog-post will tell you the story on how I discovered the super-powers that can and will initiate world-peace.

Chapter 1 – The most important life lesson

It all started on a sunny afternoon in the snowy winter of 2012. A beautiful white carpet covered the houses and the lowlands in and around Diksmuide. It reflected the bright sunlight so spectacularly that you were able to sense everyone's happiness, floating around in the air. Surrounded by this general and widespread contentment prevailing in my home town, I was able to write down the plan on how I would succeed in building my Vertical Farms.

One of the most important parts of the strategy said:
I will have a fantastic girlfriend/wife that supports me. She will be passionate, smart, awesome, beautiful, free, caring, loving and emotionally strong.

The writing down of this goal set in motion a series of interesting adventures. And I'm pretty sure I have not seen the last of them. Yet this pursuit has already taught me many things. At the commencement of this love-endeavor, I said to myself that I would not touch another woman until I had met the love of my life. Fortunately, a couple of months later, I realized that this train of thought wouldn't help me to seduce my future life's partner. It's like wanting to win the tour the France without learning to ride a bicycle (ow yes, I had (and still have) a lot to learn about seducing).

So, instead of being a moralizing bore, I did the complete opposite: I went player.

The logic was that I would become so awesomely good with women, that I would be able to seduce the lady of my dreams without even trying. Yes, the plan was solid and - with a bit of healthy persistence - easy to execute.

Flash forward one year

Recently I started a romance with Esther, a passionate, smart, awesome, beautiful, free, caring, loving and very strong lady (sounds familiar?). Moreover: I seduced her (and she seduced me) without really trying – it just...happened. I'm not trying to state the obvious here, the moral of the story lies deeper and covers more than just romantic love. Remember that I'm still trying to explain my plan on how to actualize world peace.

Zjef And Esther
During my player-girfriend-quest I had been on a winning streak for most of the time. And in that success-mindset I did not question my methods. But in the end, when something beautiful went to hell I noticed that the “playing” conflicted with what my heart wanted. It was after that serious throwback that the most important life lesson revealed itself to me.

It came in the form of a very simple, yet honest question that popped in my mind when I realized I had very high standards. The inquiry to myself was “Who do I have to be to attract that seriously seductive lady that I'm dreaming of?“

Would that passionate, smart, awesome, beautiful, free, caring, loving , emotionally strong, yes almost-perfect woman want to be with a Don Juan who turns out to be a fraud, or would she rather fall for a rock solid motherfucker who's confident with the fact that he's not always so confident? Would she start a serious relationship with a douchebag who's trying too hard, or would she prefer a person who knows he's not perfect, yet works on himself and his dreams?

(For the record, I do not condemn playing as bad. As a “nice guy”, it has taught me a lot about the art of creating and maintaining attraction. If everybody would know this and not be an asshole about it, the world would be a much happier place).

So...drum rolls...the most important life lesson and the first step on the path towards world peace is: LOVE YOURSELF! Cause how can you live in peace with another if you are not in peace with yourself?

How I do it? Well, one word: Balance. I find the balance between living today (yolo) and working towards a very bright future. I am the person that I am, yet I'm also becoming the person that I want to become by taking small steps of improvement every day.

Or to put it even more beautifully you can combine my good friends Ghandi and Einstein:

In the end, this all seems very obvious and I feel pretty retarded for realizing this so late. Yet, it is in understanding that obviousness that I found the second superpower that can and will bring harmony to the world.

Chapter 2 – The rarest of all superpowers

As you already know, I have a fantastic relationship with Esther now. However, discovering each other was and is still an adventure with many dangerous threats on the road.

I, for example, suffer from a miserable disease that is also known as the distrusting-the-ladies syndrome. It expresses itself in the stupidest things, yet it also pops up when stuff gets serious. Saying “I love you”, for instance, brings me tremendous difficulties. In the past I had uttered these words without meaning, yet in a subsequent relationship it had been a big taboo. These and some other experiences had made me extremely confused about that wonderful three-word sentence: “I love you”.

Even though I knew I was awesome enough for Esther, I still thought she would run away and never come back if I'd confessed my love for her. Luckily for me, Esther was not suffering from a similar issue and was able to fearlessly open her heart to me. Moreover, she was extremely understanding and patient until I had overcome my “I love you”-anxiety. Yes, she helped me to break free of that vicious circle of subconscious distrust and hate that originated from previous love affairs. 

Trying to overcome our issues brings a lot of adventure, not to mention that our lives by themselves are already tremendously turbulent. But we refuse to let ourselves go and slip into a Holywood-inspired love drama. Instead, we look into each others eyes, talk for hours and try to make each other stronger by utilizing super powers like honesty and self-love. Consequently, we are making our love reach its fullest potential. It is the only way to know if we are truly meant to be. 

Now, back to world peace. And let's do it trough Malcolm X

It has been, and is still a grievous quest to dig into my past and my feelings in order to understand and love myself. Every time I lose a piece of my ignorance (for example: the most important life lesson), I hate myself and think: “Damn, I should have known this”. Being angry at myself is one thing, but the bigger problems arise when I notice that same ignorance with others. A lot of frustration and hatred towards them just bubbles up, solely because of the fact that they don't know the same things as I do yet. And for me, It takes overwhelming effort to overcome these negative feelings. I found that the easiest way is to be thankful, while focusing on my own path and my own self-improvement. Yet, I'm also learning to be curious about other people and their reasons for being, thinking and doing.

It is with that curiosity that I can find understanding and consequently forgiveness for myself and for others.

That is what I do with Esther and it is also what I do with some of my friends. We founded the Association For Collective Self-Development aka Dinosaurs Will Die. We are a think- and do-tank that's seriously non-serious - yet still serious enough to be taken serious (or something like that). We call ourselves dinosaurs and talk about the little things in life, while discussing on how we can achieve our dreams. Basically, we are helping each other with the most important life lesson by trying to keep each others balance.

And that's it, folks, those are the first two steps on how Zjef will bring peace to Israel and Palestine. 
For the remainder of my life I'll try to bring health, happiness and prosperity to everyone I meet. I will try to live in peace with my girlfriend, my previous girlfriends, my friends, my family, my noisy neighbor, those retarded retards that make completely retarded jokes about vegetarians, the extremist politicians, the money-grubbing-and-nature-destroying business-men, and most importantly: I will try to live in peace with myself!

Ps: For those who hadn't figured it out yet: My quest is about much more than just building a Vertical Farm: It's all about Peace & Love

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The source of my frustration

During my teenage years I found myself to be completely invincible at strategy videogames like Rome Total War. It's quite unfortunate for the military that I had (and still have) such a Peace-and-love mentality. Cause instead, I applied my tactical insights to promote my own music band. The peace and love expressed itself in trying to benefit others with my plans.
Tangible proof of my artful strategic mind is Rock Bottom, a small festival me and my friend, Wannes, organized in October 2012. Living in a very rural area and not having a lot of money at our disposal, we managed to combine an evening concert with an afternoon Battle of The bands. In the process we brought together 13 bands and 6 youth houses, while giving away lot of cool prizes (the top prize being a 6-gig Rock-Bottom winter tour).

And although I've done some crazy shit since Rock Bottom, it is still the last thing of which I'm really really really proud. It is the last cunning plan I successfully executed in style!

Me, Wannes & The Rock Bottom poster

The source of my frustration

After Rock Bottom I concentrated myself on devising business plans and strategies to take my first steps into Vertical Farming. Yet, fifteen months after Rock Bottom, I found myself incapable to execute any of them.

And it was not because of the quality of the plans, on the contrary, they were and are still really good!

For example, when Pat and I were working to build a small pilot Vertical Farm in Switzerland (february 2013) we had to overcome the known VF-issues. So, like with Rock Bottom, my Tactical-Peace-and-Love brain came up with a plan that would not only accelerate the execution of our undertaking, it would also benefit many other projects (a message of hope). And although Pat believed it was a good idea and a solid plan, he had his doubts from the beginning. He said it was a gut feeling and that he did not really know why he didn't have a good feeling about the plan.

Yet, Instead of trusting Pat's experience and instinct, it all got to my head and I let my ambition take over. Since then, that ambition destroyed many important things, it crushed my self-trust, made me question the meaning of my life and it even made me lose the feeling of “why” I'm into Vertical Farming in the first place. Had I made the wrong choices? Was Vertical Farming not my future? Why was I'm alive and why the fuck would I waste any of my precious time on trying to make this world a better place?

Clearly, I was doing something wrong, and somewhere around March/April 2014 I hit Rock Bottom.

Behold, the legend of Rock Bottom 2012.

Have I told you that in the beginning we just wanted to organize a gig with befriended bands to locally promote our hard rock music? And still, even with these humble initial intentions, we ended up organizing a pretty big event. This was because the lovers of the distorted guitar-sound were spread very thinly across the rural lands of Diksmuide, and because there is just too much concert-competition in Belgium (booking a big headliner wouldn't assure many people showing up). So, in order to reach our goal, Wannes and me had to think outside the box and devise a well though out plan. The evolution of Rock Bottom happened not out of ambition, but because of necessity!

So, what is my point here? What is the reason I'm telling you this story?

Hell, I don't know, I never make a point before I start writing. I never know what the end or the moral of my story is going to be. What you read, is just a portion of what I'm writing. Because

When I'm writing, I'm reflecting.

And when I'm reflecting, I'm learning... or making excuses (I don't know anymore. It's a very thin line).

Yet, the most important thing I learned while inditing this shit, is that my most memorable successes originated from having fun, while the bigger dreams came second to that!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

And The Winner is...

And the winner from last month's blog post contest is...

Tumtumtum...drum rolls...some epic music...(really, click on the epic music, it's pretty epic!)



Before the winner is announced, I would like to thank everyone for answering and giving me some very inspiring ideas towards self-improvement. A good example is that many of you told me that I need to talk more about what I'm doing, and you are right.

Aristotle once said that, to forge an interesting tale, the best oraters perfectly combine three components: ETHOS, PATHOS AND LOGOS, better known as doing, feeling and thinking.

The reason why my blog has always been a little incomplete, is because of the absence of definite Ethos (doing). It's not that I haven't been doing things, on the contrary. Yet, I think I was afraid to share them absent tangible success.

Check out my personal indoor-design hydroponic-cupboard, now growing some huge tomato-plants!

And the winner from last months blog post contest is...

tumtumtum...drum rolls...some epic music...

Jonathan Moreel and Jan Van Loo

Yes, two winners! Both of them started with some great constructive criticism and ended with some well thought out advice. And most of all: they were honest and took their time to explain everything in detail.

Jonathan even demanded that I should do more than just a dinner and drinks, he wants a full blown barbecue with only stuff I will grow myself (time limit; august 2015). I believe this is a good idea actually!

Will we be eating some of my homegrown Reishi-mushrooms (a.k.a. Mushrooms of Immortality)?

So to end this blog post in style - I'll pledge to myself to do 3 things:
  • Create a balanced mix of actions, thoughts and feelings in my writings
  • Write a blog post at least every month
  • Work hard to give a full blown BBQ for Jonathan & Jan

See you soon, my VFF's (Vertical Farming Friends)

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Yes, you can actually win something by reading this blog post! Yet first, some background information!

Around June 2012, something triggered a big change in “my view on life”. It was a book about how to be successful in following your dreams. And although I had encountered many of these similar theories before (and dismissed them as bullshit), this one opened my mind. Moreover, it slammed it open with such force, that it felt like I had seen the light, a new beginning with unlimited possibilities!

Fast forward two years (March-April 2014)

LIFE SUCKS! Almost two years after reading the book about success, none of my predefined goals were achieved. I did not succeed in taking one decent step forward towards achieving the big Vertical Farm dream. In my last blog post, I even claimed that 2014 was going to be the year of success. Yet, shortly after, I hit the ground with the project I had just started. And I hit the ground HARD! My self-confidence was completely gone and I was constantly asking the universe: “Please, give me what I deserve, I've been suffering and trying for 2 years now, and what do I have to give for it? ”. And all of the sudden a funny thing happened; friends, family and the rest of the universe responded...


Was it I that finally started listening?

The truth is that I was a stubborn “jump-on-every-opportunity-without-thoroughly-thinking-it-through newbie”. It made me enjoy a lot of adventures which made me feel awesomely alive. Yet, they also got me into a lot of trouble which in their turn made me feel extremely sad. In the end, I believe I got what I needed: some hard learned lessons and the strength to endure the difficult periods. But what to do now? My long term goal is to lead a company that owns and builds Skyscraper Vertical Farms. However, at the moment there is no short term plan, and therefore I believe I require your assistance!


Win a night out at my expense! Dinner, drinks and maybe even a fiesta! What to do: Give your opinion, advice and/or ideas on how I should move forward in my quest to build a Vertical Farm. The rules are simple: the person with the best contribution WINS!!
Email me at , the deadline is 24 April 2014

Ps1: even if you live on the other side of the world, I'll make it a life's mission to deliver the prize
Ps2: before your submission you are free to ask me any questions you like (no taboos)