Jan & Sam

Arenosa

Hi, we are Jan and Sam from Arenosa and we grow organic parsnip and other wonderful delicious vegetables here in the sandy clay in the Dutch polder.  Our farm is close to the city of Lelystad and it is amazing to think that this area was covered by the sea less than 60 years ago.

Our farm consists of 70 hectares where we grow parsnip, salsify, Jerusalem artichoke, parsley root, leeks, potatoes and grass clover. These products are grown according to the principles of a 1 – 6 rotation. That means we grow parsley in year one and other products including grass clover in the subsequent five years. The clover not only feeds the soil but also allows it rest.  Furthermore, this type of vegetation helps to sequester carbon and helps stimulate soil life.

Apart from growing organic vegetables we also wash, sort and pack the parsnip in two huge halls.  The combination of farming and packing is great and it fits us perfectly.  We are now also sorting, washing and packing the parsnip of other passionate organic farmers.

Interview with Jan and Sam

How long have you been growing organic vegetables ?

Jan:  It all started back in 1979. During that period there was very little practical knowledge os I experimented a lot.  Of course during those early years a lot of things went wrong but I learned so much and that knowledge has brought me to where I am today .. that makes me proud !

What makes organic agriculture so special?

Sam: I have only farmed organically so I do not know how to grow with chemical fertilizers and pesticides.  I guess organic farming means that you have to be creative, care deeply for your crops but also learn to sometimes let go. We try to make our vegetables as unattractive as possible form harmful insects without scaring away the good ones.

Where does the name Arenosa come from?

Jan: It sounds exotic but it is basically Latin for “everything that grows and flourishes on sand”, a great description of what we are doing here.

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