Hi, I’m Krispijn van den Dries, 32 years old, and I grow Demeter heirloom vegetables for Nature & More in The Netherlands (Noordoostpolder), together with my father and a few other growers in this area. We are specialized in colourful and rare varieties like purple and yellow carrots, wild potatoes, multi-colored beets, Jerusalem artichokes, horseradish and other culinary varieties. Some of these vegetables used to be familiar to our great-grandparents, but are now forgotten. We want to make them unforgettable!
In the meantime,Krispijn is working together with 32 farmers via BioRomeo in order to offer a wide range of fruits and vegetables from the Noordoostpolder and its surroundings. In the fertile clay ground of the polder, it is possible to grow nearly everything. The farmers take good care of the soil. Without soil there are no farmers and without farmers there is no food!
N&M: What do you like most about farming?
Krispijn: “I love to work with all the different colours and smells and tastes. Late spring, when everything is growing and the field are full with crops, is a great time. Everything is still fresh and untouched. But I also love the harvest time, when the products are standing in the boxes, ready to be shipped to the consumers. I like to ponder on the fact that this abundance is the result of a bit of our own work, and a lot of work by nature!”
N&M: You also have two pigs. Are they here for fun?
Krispijn: “No, we are a biodynamic Demeter farm. This means that we strive for locally closed nutrient cycles. Our two pigs enjoy a life in a secluded patch with shrubs and trees and we can feed them the leftovers of the harvest. In return they give us good manure that we can use in our compost. The farm waste that the pigs can’t eat, also goes to the compost. Nothing here is thrown away! But the presence of animals is also good for the general atmosphere of the farm. The pigs are very tame, and we take them for a walk regularly!”