Growing on fertile polder soil
We grow our products in Zeewolde, in the Dutch province of Flevoland. This unique province was created in 1970 through reclaiming land from the former Zuiderzee. Thus, we grow our produce on young, fertile land below sea level. This ground is rich in nutrients for our plants, the soil is oxygen-rich and it has a good water balance. Therefore, when there is a water shortage, we always have enough water to irrigate our plants.
We operate an extensive crop rotation programme in order to avoid exhausting the soil. We only grow the same crops on an area of ground once in eight years so that we can prevent soil disease and soil exhaustion. Soil-intensive crops are rotated with crops which rest the soil because a healthy plant begins with healthy soil. As for our crops, we prefer to use varieties that have a strong natural resistance against plant disease. We do not simply focus on a variety giving the highest harvest, but on one with the best quality. Other important conditions for growing healthy plants are balanced fertilisation and making sure that they do not grow too close to each other.
Modern cultivation techniques
We get weeds on our land – that’s only natural. We use an advanced GPS technique to sow our crops in dead straight lines, without as much as centimetre of deviation of the seedlings. This makes it possible to mechanically hoe the weeds right alongside the crops. Afterwards, we remove any left-over weeds by hand. We use weeding beds which lie comfortably for our workers. These beds are powered by solar energy produced by solar panels on the machine.
In addition to our regular harvest crops, we sow one more crop in the autumn. Not for harvesting, but to feed the soil. This ‘green manure’ is a crop that feeds the soil, improves the structure of the soil and increases its organic matter content. In this way, generations to come will also be able to grow crops on the best possible soil.
Modern storage sheds
After harvesting the crops, we store the produce in our modern storage sheds. Here, we monitor everything that is necessary for each specific product. Using advanced computer programmes, we dry and cool the products to maintain optimum quality. These modern facilities allow us to store our products for a long period of time. We can deliver excellent potatoes, onions, carrots and red beets right up to the end of the season.
Our own energy resources
Growing and storing crops requires a lot of energy. We believe in the importance of generating our own sustainable energy, that is why solar panels cover our roofs and we take active part in generating wind energy. Our resources generate more energy than we actually use and that makes us feel good!