Plukrijp Newsletter – 2023 week 27




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Upside-down the good newsletter

2023 – week 27

Upside down = instead of announcing what we plan to do
(& most often find out we do not need to do), we relate what we really did

The updated list of vegetables & fruit that can be harvested this week is available on our website under the heading “Current Harvest” :

This week @ Plukrijp

We did:

The big theme of the week was weeding. We weeded open tunnel 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 / the midsection of closed tunnel 1 / the back of all the closed tunnels and in between them. At Hei, we weeded the patch between the leek for seeds and cut back the berry bushes to make a road again. Together with Saida, Hilde and Bart we weeded the nearest high long bed as well as the long low Beds 1, 2, & 3.

We harvested the few potato plants in open tunnel 3 and couldn’t resist tasting them. We can already tell you that they are delicious!

We thieved the tomatoes in closed tunnels 1&2, thieved and clipped the tomatoes in open tunnel 4.

We shook the potato plants in open tunnel 5 to drop the Colorado beetles.

Niels came & gave us some leftover plants from Ferm: two kinds of cucumbers that we planted at the end of closed tunnel 1. This assures a second harvest of cucumbers later in the season. Thanks Niels !

We went to visit the Bereklauw to get some materials for the bathroom & the kitchen. Gosse gave us a beautiful double sink for the kitchen and another for the bathroom. Thanks for your generosity!

Tom continued to construct the kitchen frame and installed the new sink.

We repaired a few more europallets.

We chopped firewood & put them in black boxes for later use.

A few words of Bram

A vision

Already a few months now we have been trapped on the farm with the idea that we need to make a vision to have more clarity of where we want to go with this boot called Plukrijp. Regularly we find ourselves stuck in social dynamics because non of us is clear of what he or she wants to create in this place. The same go’s for me. I have been occupied with this question and the more I think about it the more I get stuck in trying to find answers.

The first attempts were just continuing the basic structures that already were in place. This idea seemed to work until the next problem presented itself and we needed to make a decision, but this decision had to make sense futurwise and the futur means… where we want to go and that was onclear, so… stuck again with headproblems.

The next thing I tried was to imagin what I would make of this place, taking in consideration the past of the place and the people who are present now. This actually is giving me the most torture of trying to calculate everybody’s personal wantings with the idea of still living together. So far it just makes no sense to me that we would live each of us on his own way and once and awhile do stuff together.

The next attempt on trying to make a vision was to ask myself: what would I love to do in this life and how could this place function around it? Nice idea’s popped up, all my wanthings in a row but still a sour taste in my mouth. My real desire is to live in simplicity and to give recognition to the voice that wants to express through me.

To conclude, we need to do what is necessary in front of us and do first what can’t be posponed.

By looking back to previous experiences I can only say that real joy for me is linked to forgetting the me, myself and I. In all “my” attempts of “trying” to make something out of it, I was always looking for my own profit in it and there for never being able to realy give myself to what was offered. The “what about me” was still the most important.

The vision is not mine, it is what this place is offering what we could do. Being of service to one another and sharing life in warmth. Doing the garden, making good food, do craft in the workshop, welcome those who strand here and doing the work. All this in simplicity with a touch of humour and gratitude.

A few words of Jojo

I went to work for 5 days with Niels at Sander & Verle’s farm ‘Ferm’ in Hombeek. Organic commercial farming is big, pretty, fast, & precise. Working with a tractor makes life quicker & easier, though compaction is not to be underestimated & level-headedness is absolute must otherwise the loss is exponentially greater than working with hand tools.

It is very clear that farming is directed by the consumer – as the most ‘profitable’ crops are clearly the ones that are most beautiful & tasty – though sometimes the most time – intensive to work with. A solution with Ferm is to sell directly to chefs in restaurants – Chefs are not so picky with the ‘showiness’ of the vegetable, as they present incorporated in a dish & focus on flavor.

I also see the benefit of creating infrastructure for a ‘streamlined’ way of farming. Instead of ‘winging’ seeding times & planting, there is consistency & persistence in manual tasks. For example, between April & September, Wednesday is ‘shuffle day,’ in which they go around the farm & work between the plants to keep them weed free. At Plukrijp we take these experiences as ‘cross-pollination’ in which we enrich each other through sharing.

Inspiring Video

Koppel start bioboerderij ‘Ferm’

A few words of Niels


Getting to know people is very difficult. We are all different and some of the things that make people what they are, are hardest to notice. Here is a unique framework that may help you in understanding your self and seeing others in more holistic way.

The pyramid, being a very stable structure, represents a stable person. Below the person is the society that the individual came from. The brown part represents the parts of our person that are underground, and hard for others to see. This includes who we are and most of what we do, for that is at the root, but below ground in the sense that it is hard for others and ourselves to see.

Every level is build on the next, so what we do is stable when it rests on who we are. The more stable our foundations, the higher we can stack. When we get into body language and what we say, we are above ground, in the open. This is a visible part of us that is exposed in every day life. It’s easy to only focus on the above ground parts of our personality. When looking at others, it is wise though to check, if what they say and how they carry themselves checks out with what they do and ultimately who they are.

What we think and what we want actually reaches into the clouds, it gets a bit more fluffy and unsubstantiated for others to hold onto and count on and it gets a bit risky when it is not built on a solid above the table structure which itself sits on foundations that support it.

Life is complicated and people are complicated. The societies they come from carry with the a lot of history, trauma and collective karma you could say. And yet there are things we can do to build a solid life for ourselves. A lot of the things that ground us are interpersonal, it’s a matter of finding the right arrangements based on who we are.

In writing this I am aware that Who We Are is a vague concept. Nonetheless I consciously imply that finding out who we are and always remembering it, is a very worthwhile pursuit. Some of the concepts outside the pyramid may help you in your operations, and help you scale up as an individual. It may also be a crutch if you want to evaluate someone else’s claims and promises on the go.

May it serve as a reminder to sometimes look a little deeper at others, and most of all, ourselves.

Inspiring Book

A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction

Christopher W. Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein

At the core of A Pattern Language is the philosophy that in designing their environments people always rely on certain ‘languages,’ which, like the languages we speak, allow them to articulate and communicate an infinite variety of designs within a formal system which gives them coherence.

This book provides a language of this kind. It will enable making a design for almost any kind of building, or any part of the built environment. ‘Patterns,’ the units of this language, are answers to design problems: how high should a window sill be?; how many stories should a building have?; how much space in a neighborhood should be devoted to grass and trees?

More than 250 of the patterns in this language are outlined, each consisting of a problem statement, a discussion of the problem with an illustration, and a solution. As the authors say in their introduction, many of the patterns are archetypal, so deeply rooted in the nature of things that it seems likely that they will be a part of human nature and human action as much in five hundred years as they are today.

Inspiring Music

Hayley Sales – Keep Drivin’



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