First trees in food forest Hofstede Lust & Last planted

Photo: Unsplash

On Friday 16 December, the first trees will be planted in the new food forest at Hofstede Lust & Last in Sommelsdijk (Goeree Overflakkee). It starts with the planting of a total of five hectares of food forest. Within a few years the yield will be ready to be harvested and eaten. Planting is done by representatives of all parties who made the food forest possible.

Initiator and farmer Onno Mijs is very proud that his dream is now actually getting off the ground: “Over the years, my father experienced that the landscape around the farm was impoverished and biodiversity was declining. I became interested in food forests and together we saw possibilities for this on our own land. The fact that I now realize it with my father is fun and challenging!”

Herbs and nuts

With a food forest, don’t think of an orchard with only one or two types of trees. There are dozens of edible plant species, which together form an ecosystem. As in a natural forest, different layers of vegetation are present: tall trees, lower trees, shrubs, herbs, ground cover and climbing plants. Earth life is rich. And most importantly, food is produced in an environmentally friendly way. Onno Mijs explains: “The design of our food forest was made by Coöperatie Ondergrond. With this food forest, we want to show that production and harvesting on a large scale is possible (in a nature-inclusive way). The different varieties are therefore planted in rows in our production section, so that we can harvest them relatively easily.”

Sales

Sales take place to a large extent via the ‘short chain’ and thus locally. With the production of walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, various types of fruit and berries and herbs, Lust & Last contributes to the food supply in our region. pick their own super-fresh produce here, and you can also see that supplying top restaurants to food forests elsewhere in the country,’ says Mijs.

Rotterdam on the farm!

Madskov Lust & Last is realized with support from ‘Rotterdam på gården!’. Bob Hartog, project manager at Rotterdam on the farm! is pleased to be able to contribute to the realization of a food forest in the region on the land of an agricultural entrepreneur. “More than twenty organizations together form the coalition ‘Rotterdam on the farm!’, including Rabobank, Greenchoice, Verstegen Spices & Sauces, Coöperatie Ondergrond, Stichting Voedselbosbouw Nederland and Natuurmonumenten. Together, we strive for more biodiversity in the countryside, more sustainably produced regionally produced food for the city and healthy business operations for farmers,” says Hartog. Rotterdam on the farm! is a dream fund project with support from the national postcode lottery.

Reproduction

Food forest is a fairly new form of farming in the Netherlands. “The added value of food forestry for biodiversity and the environment is clear and has now also been demonstrated in food forests elsewhere in the country. The key question now is how food forestry can really be a profitable form of agriculture.” says the Hartog Foundation. Voedselbosbouw Nederland, also involved in ‘Rotterdam de Boer op!’, collects nationwide business economic information on current food forest projects and is involved in various studies and explorations to improve the revenue model of the food forest concept. Stichting Voedselbosbouw Nederland is also the initiator of Sustainable Breakthrough, a program that stimulates food forests on agricultural land. Food forest Lust & Last originates from Sustainable Breakthrough.

Ambitious

“From ‘Rotterdam på gården!’ we want to support entrepreneurs who take the risky step of applying innovative nature-inclusive forms of agriculture to their farm, such as strip farming, wet farming and agroforestry. Here in the region, Lust & Last is the most ambitious example of a food forest initiative by an agricultural entrepreneur. From ‘Rotterdam on the farm!’ We therefore wholeheartedly support the initiative.

Greenchoice has shown its willingness to make an important financial contribution to planting the food forest. Also in the exploitation phase, ‘Rotterdam på gården!’ partners will remain involved in food forest Lust & Last. For example, Verstegen Spices & Sauces, together with the farmers in Lust & Last, will investigate to what extent herbs and spices, which are now imported from other continents, can be harvested from the Lust & Last food forest.

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