Plukrijp Newsletter – 2023 week 34


Your information is processed in the MailChimp mail program in accordance with their privacy policy.
This means that your data will never be shared with third parties,
and will only be used in the purpose of informing you of our activities. vzw – Zetel: Trommelstraat 24 – B 2223 Schriek
RPR Mechelen – O.N. 0553.553.660 –

Upside-down the good newsletter

2023 – week 34

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

This week @ Plukrijp

We did:

In closed tunnel 3 we sowed endive (left side behind)

We cleaned up the end of open tunnel 4.

We cleaned up open tunnel 5, harvested the last potatoes there and then sowed corn salad.

We weeded and mowed the large grassfield behind the house

We sowed spinach and coriander in the greenhouse

We harvested beautiful tasty green beens. There are plenty more of them at Hei (near the pumpkin’s field). Come and harvest them!

We harvested appels from the Food Forest and baked a delicious cake.

We continued to repair europallets, did cut some firewood for the winter and cleaned the workshop.

We cleaned also all the empty boxes near the chickencoop and brought them to Hei.

We sorted the potatoes that we did already harvest to eliminate those that were damaged during harvesting.

We shoveled compost at Hei, added some pigeon shit to it and added it in the greenhouse where we want to sow chervil later.

Scott & Tania who now live in New Zealand came back to Belgium to celebrate their wedding with their friends and they came by to say hello. Their beautiful story began in Plukrijp a few years ago.

Wilfried & Hannah arrived with their joyful little daughter Norah. They also live in New Zeeland where they bought a large piece of land with another couple. They will stay here for 2 more weeks. If you want to meet them, make sure you come on time!

A few words from our friend Niels

I’d recommend this book to anyone feeling like they want to prune in their business or household. This could be passing on items that you don’t use, this could be changing the way you do something so that it takes less steps and time or it could be changing the design or layout of a place so that it is more ergonomic or takes less effort.

Ben Hartman and his wife run a 1 acre farm, supplying almost all their customers within a 20 kilometre radius. They only have a few members of staff and now live off this operation. From the images it’s easy to tell they only keep the few multifunctional tools they need, and they keep it in a fixed spot close to it’s point of use. They use images wherever they can to communicate to workers the steps or standard of cleanliness for the space they are in.

One thing that they really drive home in the book is the looking at the entire chain of value of what they are producing. They produce everything with the customers preferences in mind and produce just enough of it. Every step that is necessary is minimized and every step that does not add value is eliminated. When it comes to choosing between projects they will always choose to increase the value of it, rather than lower the price for example, or eliminate it all together.

They now have more time to focus on the things that bring value, or to simply enjoy life in the form of more free time. This could be a structural exercise. Prune in the things that are least valuable and increase or optimize on the high leverage activities. Also in my home, maybe I keep just enough plates that I need, put my closet right by the washing machine, and look really deeply at how I spend my time and what actually comes of it.

This book perfectly captures a combination of two permaculture principles: leave the place nicer than your found it and design from pattern to detail. The book embodies the ethos of being transparent and so is very precise in how to go about the exercise of leaning on a day to day basis. The concept of zoning from permaculture perfectly captures a pattern fits perfectly on the lean farm.

I have to think of the old man yelling “There is no away!”. Often we pretend when something is not on our farm, we can ignore it. The lean design approach can eliminate waste or pollution before anything is even implemented. Lean will get the most out of your limited resources. Outside of the lean farm, there is still waste. People, items and necessary steps in the supply chains of industrial society still fall between the cracks. The book also discusses where lean has pitfalls, or simply goes too far. Life is not just a matter of efficiency or profit. Living things have inherent value. So at the end of the day it’s up to you to how lean you want to go and how lean you feel comfortable with. I think when faced with inherently less lean systems you might be better off taking the permaculture perspective.

Lean can be a trap. Body builders describe how when losing body fat they actually become more dysphoric and their bias towards wanting to be more lean actually increases. Often the answer is to carry a bit more fat. Your joints will feel better, your libido will be higher and you might be less of an asshole towards your spouse and colleagues when you decide to chill out and eat a bit more butter.

That being said, if you want to lean your farm, this is the book to read!


A few words from Bram

Tension from imposed thoughts

A deep longing for rest and a habitual pattern of action that always dominates

At the end of July I went to France for 3 weeks together with Maud to spend some time in an environment with more nature and space. Leaving and enjoying was actually much harder than I imagined. I was confronted with a body that said “stop the manipulation of the mind”. A mind that says “it’s never enough”.

During these 3 weeks I had to lie completely flat several times because my back had cramped and I couldn’t move because of the pain. This blockage nailed me to the ground and I had to give in with sadness and look back at my increasingly tense attitude somewhere deep inside me. This sadness touched me deeply and an inner dialogue started asking why I do this to myself every time.

It’s a kind of pressure I put on myself by being busy all the time. They are always situations that I create by not listening to that little voice that speaks within myself. I do hear it, but I usually answer it with the familiar words: YES, BUT.

The YES stands for: I feel or perceive that my body actually wants to do something else, usually it wants the simple version of what is in front of me. By simple I mean not unnecessarily twisting the body in all sorts of bends.

The BUT stands for: I can’t listen to that little voice anyway because otherwise I’m not a good boy, there is still so much to do. Or I can’t say no to that invitation for a family party, otherwise the others will complain that I’m being difficult. In other words, that constant pressure on my system by not responding to what’s really going on inside me. Also in encounters with others or situations at work and in the community. My deep desire for acceptance and approval indicates that I am not yet convinced of my autonomy in love and self-esteem. The fear of rejection or failure in general has so far put me in an automatic attitude that I live in constant tension.

I suppose this is true for most of us. We all experience that voice that actually wants to experience more softness towards the body. Some of us really have the courage to listen to that inner voice and not let ourselves be stressed by the expectations of others or our own monkeymind.

Inspiring Music

Tracy Chapman – Say Hallelujah



Copyright © *|2023|* *|Plukrijp|*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.



This email was sent to

why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences vzw · Trommelstraat 24 · Schriek · Heist-Op-Den-Berg 2223 · BelgiumEmail Marketing Powered by Mailchimp