TNT is looking for land!

For Dutch click here

Imagine a beautiful garden with raised beds growing an abundance of vegetables, herbs, fruits, nuts, and flowers. The chickens are walking around freely and are moved every other day by a chicken tractor. Every day fresh produce on your plate, straight from the land!

That will be OOGSTAPPEL, a regenerative market garden where we connect nature, people, and animals. We will not use artificial fertilizer, heavy machines, and toxic pesticides. Food is grown with the seasons, there is crop rotation and the chickens play an important role in a designed circular system.

To realize our dream we are looking for 1-hectare of land in the Netherlands. If you own land or know someone who does, please get in touch with us. You can call us on 0031614112600 or send an email to thomas_verdel@hotmail.com. Check our flyer for specifics here (in Dutch).

Background

After our TNT On A Trip motorbike adventure, we are starting a new adventure. During our trip, we learned that a different lifestyle is possible. One where you live in harmony with nature and where's an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. We want to contribute to the well-being of the planet by starting a regenerative market garden.

Work experience

Due to COVID-19, we had to change the course of our trip multiple times. Because of this we were introduced to Wwoof and started working on farms throughout Europe.

It all started at Domein Holset, in the south of the Netherlands. Under the guidance of the winegrower Guy, we learned how to prune grapes, tie them up, remove double buds and work in the vegetable garden. The work was physical, and we have certainly not forgotten the removal of nettle roots at the base of 10,000 grape plants! Our skin was not used to working outside all day and we used up a lot of bottles of sunscreen. But one thing was clear: this suited us well!

After a while, we moved on to Casa Foresta, a very beautiful garden by Edwin Flores near Nijmegen. A wide variety of edible flowers and herbs grew on approximately 1 hectare of land, whereby 'it is not only about a pea as an end product, but also about the edible pea flowers'. We also learned about foraging in the Netherlands. It was clear that our interest had been sparked. We wanted to learn a lot more from this.

The borders slowly opened in the summer of 2020 and we drove to Hof Gnandstein. Here we helped Heiko restore a beautiful farm. We immersed ourselves in natural building techniques and created a vegetable garden.

Months later and after many kilometers on the motorbikes we arrived at Corfu. Here we worked on a beautiful farm with an olive grove and restaurant. Bioporos is a family business with 7 hectares of olive trees, 50 chickens, 2 pigs, 25 sheep and 75 bee colonies. We worked long hours and harvested thousands of kilos of olives by hand, butchered animals, fed bees and built machines.

Here we realized for the first time that another life was possible. We devoured books on permaculture and decided to look for a completely self-sufficient farm. We found it in Slovenia: Farm Kostanje. Borut, the 70-year-old owner, had bought an abandoned farm with his wife Lucia 20 years earlier, which was accompanied by 14 hectares of forest. Everything was very badly maintained, overgrown with blackberries, collapsed houses, ruined meadows, no access road, no electricity and no water. Using traditional building methods, he has rebuilt everything and made a beautiful completely self-sufficient farm. Here we experienced for the first time how people live in harmony with nature and how you can let nature do the work for you.

Thomas now works at the beautiful market garden Helle Bauer in Germany. It's a very successful market garden where 150 families are supplied with fresh organic vegetables, fruit and eggs every week.

Permaculture Design Course

After months of practical experience, we decided to learn more about the theoretical background of permaculture. We took a Permaculture Design Course (PDC) at Terra Alta in Portugal. For two weeks we were immersed in the theory and practice of regenerative landscape design, application of water and flow systems, botany and seed conservation, bio-intensive techniques for market gardens, introduction to food forests. Everything came together which ensured us we were on the right track. We need to start OOGSTAPPEL!