An initiative of

Jeroen Robbers

De Terp - Netherlands

Hi, I’m Jeroen Robbers and I grow organic pumpkins in the Betuwe, an old fruit growing region of the Netherlands. I started farming in 1984 and I converted to organic in 1998. My company, De Terp, is now the largest organic pumpkin producer in Europe. I grow orange as well as green pumpkins.

Apart from pumpkins, vegetables and feed crops, we also have cows, the Blondes d’Aquitaine. During the winter these animals stay in a deep litter house and during the summer they graze on a country estate. We grow our own feed for the animals. This way we can achieve a nearly closed circle of nutrients, which is quite unique in the Netherlands. Thanks to 500 solar panels our pumpkin processing facilities are energy neutral. As a company we are also climate-neutral.

Apart from the agriculture we also have a day care center for people with special needs, a farm shop and a forest with a public walking trail. Although we do many different things, we're also a very modern company: we use the latest techniques for harvesting and processing our pumpkins. I hope you will enjoy them!


Interview with Jeroen Robbers

N&M: How did you start farming?
“I came from the city originally and had no knowledge of farming. I was very interested in animals and plants though. With a lot of ideals and passion I started out as a biodynamic farmer. In 1984 I began to grow assorted vegetables on less than three acres. But apart from an idealist I also turned out to be quite practical. In the course of the years I was able to expand my company to what it is today.”

N&M: Why did you specialize in pumpkins?
“When I began, the profits for biodynamic products were very low, apart from the pumpkins. So I started growing more pumpkins. Then, over the years, pumpkins increased in popularity a lot. In the past it was mostly considered an ornamental product. As a food they were only sold in health food stores. But nowadays it has become a very popular product with a year round demand.”

N&M: How about the cows?
In 1991 I got the chance to start working on a rural estate. It’s a beautiful spot to herd cows and it enables me to produce a beautiful local product. The Blondes d’Aquitaine are great animals and they provide me with a closed nutrient cycle, which has always been my ideal. The proceeds are very low however. That’s why I’m now changing to another type of cattle that produces milk as well as meat.”

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Geolocation is 51.8994444, 5.34888890000002

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