Regenerative demonstration farm
Anne van Leeuwen
Climate eggs and high-quality horticultural produce: e.g. red courgettes, artichokes, red and green kale (boerenkool), lacinato kale, red russian kale, radish and mizuna as well as beets, pumpkins, mushrooms … berries, nuts and fruits are coming up!
They call themselfes climate farmers for life – Bodemzicht works towards growing healthy food and diverse landscapes.
»We are passionate about integrating nature, agriculture and communities, creating thereby a long-term future for farmers in the Netherlands«.
How everything started
In early 2020 – in midst of the pandemic – Anne and the Bodemzicht team started their regenerative demonstration farm. Their goal is to profoundly change the perspective in Dutch agriculture: from boundless, degrading monocultures to grounded, resilient farm enterprises.
The farm works with existing natural processes and a circular logic: The soil is disturbed as little as possible and no artificial fertilizers or pesticides are used. Pruning will provide carbon for compost, chicken will eat and fertilize compost and further this compost is food for vegetables and trees. Mobile chicken caravans in the orchards activate the soil and work as intensive carbon pumps which store CO2.
Bodemzicht has its own water system that can deal with droughts and floods. Nevertheless, they wish to develop a regenerative water prototype on the farm: a system where water from ponds is stored for use in the market garden and silvopasture. Bodemzicht has found potential partnerships in the Embassy of Water and regional water boards »We need 5.000 € for developing a prototype that will demonstrate that it’s possible to farm with water in a regenerative way. If we are successful, we will share this prototype with many more farmers.«
How do they contribute to a better climate?
Restoring fallow land exploited though industrial farming
Their plot was fallow land, as it had long been used for fossil fuel agriculture. “When we arrived in April, there were only barren fields. We soon turned it into a thriving biodiverse market garden with thriving soil life. It is truly amazing how fast the transformation happens when working with nature and not against it!”
Leasing cows for regenerative grazing
They work in close collaboration with another rural entrepreneur – a livestock farmer, whose cows graze their fields, in exchange for part of the lease. He leaves the cows as long as the holistic grazing allows and supplies them with a valuable input for the farm: manure.
Providing innovative soil perspectives
Bodemzicht means soil perspective. Accordingly, project provides innovative alternatives to current agriculture by integrating the latest green technologies (energy, data and management). Through dialogue between technology and nature, they work towards advancing a truly sustainable agriculture and creating a long-term future for farmers in the Netherlands
What else is going on on the farm?
Baroness as a landlord and neighbor
It is a baroness who owns the land. She also happens to be a transition coach, so she immediately understood what Bodemzicht intended to do, and what farming is all about!
bridge the gap between nature and culture
Anne always wanted to bridge the divide between nature and culture. In regenerative agri-“culture”, they found a way of living in harmony with plants, animals and ecosystems and continue on discovering synergies between nature and culture.
Tackling pressing global issues at the farm level
Anne and Ricardo realized that the way forward is regenerative farming, a set of methods with the potential to tackle issues that are so urgent right now, such as climate change, biodiversity loss and most importantly a loss of community.