How long have you been growing organic products?
Sjaak already started back in 1999 and can be described as real organic pioneer. He owns more than 300 ha of biodynamically certified land on which he grows a broad range of products including pumpkins, onions, cabbage, beets, shallots and other crops. In 2015 we started growing fresh garlic together.
During my studies I also spent a lot of time on organic farms and obviously learned a lot from Sjaak and others. From that moment on, I was fascinated with the subject of innovation in organic agriculture. I love the challenge of looking for natural solutions to problems that present themselves.
Why is organic agriculture so special for you?
The most beautiful element of organic agriculture is that you work together with nature. Chemicals are only a short term solution whereas nature offers long term answers. Nature is always stronger than the will of the farmer so cooperation is crucial.
The garlic is grown naturally without artificial fertilizers and pesticides. The manure from Sjaaks cows is collected and mixed with champost to produce a high quality compost. Furthermore, to keep the soil vibrant and full of life we work with a crop rotation system of 1 in 6.
How is fresh garlic grown ?
To grow a garlic bulb we plant a clove in November. It takes around 8 months for the clove to develop into a new garlic bulb. The best conditions for growing garlic is cold winter followed by ample sun and a rich soil with good drainage. All these elements can be found in the Dutch Flevo polder and that is why we are able to grow such a premium product here.
When the garlic is harvested in June, part of the stem is removed and the product is stored in special cool cells. This enables us to store the product for around 6 months.