Who we are

The Founders

Plukrijp was founded in 2007 by Frank Ruymen & Martine Beaujean

Frank Ruymen

Frank acquired our farmland in 1972 and was one of the pioneers of organic farming in Belgium. Frank was passionate about soil life and has always made intuitive regenerative agriculture, later on called permaculture by Bill Morisson. So Frank had an experience of more than 50 years. With his formation as economic historian and his wide range of interests (philosophy, quantum physics, politics, sociology, anthropology, …) he offered a complete contemporary formation in permaculture adapted to our climate. He was often called “a human encyclopedia”. Frank passed peacefully away at home on May 12, 2022.

Martine Beaujean

Cupid’s arrow having pierced my heart, I came to join Frank in 1988. Together, we made the organic farm prosper and developed a wholesale business in fresh organic products while raising our four children. In 2007, we decided to stop the commercial side and devoted ourselves to the transmission of our knowledge on permaculture in all its aspects. Our project Plukrijp was born.

Initially, I studied medical secretary but my knowledge comes from my long experience as a management assistant in various companies active in the organic world or with a social purpose.

I am the administrative and structural force of Plukrijp. I am often called the “mother of the place”, because I put everything into place to create and maintain a feeling of a big family.

I like simplicity and I am deeply touched by the beauty I discover everywhere. I like to add value to the fresh vegetables from the garden by transforming them into delicious dishes that delight our taste buds or by preserving them.

 

The Volunteers

Plukrijp works thanks to the commitment of a few long-term motivated volunteers

 

Joshka de Milliano

I’ve stayed and invested myself at Plukrijp for the last three and a half years. I’m a teacher by trade and vocation and I’ve taught in various democratic schools in the Netherlands. As any good teacher should, I’m also an eternal student and at Plukrijp I’ve had the opportunity to continue learning in so many directions. Frank opened my mind to so many areas of life here on Mother Earth previously completely unbeknownst to me through his recommendations and insatiable desire for knowledge, ranging from the abstract of philosophy, to the esoteric of Shaiva Tantra, to the down-to-earth gardening, to the beauty of art and music and to the intimacy of group living and psychology and so much more. He taught me that true no-nonsense permaculture is a holistic lifestyle, spanning every facet of life.

At Plukrijp I provide systemization and clarity, I maintain the IT-infrastructure, and help the garden flourish together with Anthony and Jojo. My main objectives at the moment are helping Plukrijp into its next phase of life after Frank’s passing and putting into practice what I’ve learned theoretically over the last few years.

If you’re interested in anything that Plukrijp has to offer I am more than willing to share with you any and all I have learned here and elsewhere; passing on the wealth of knowledge that has been offered to me brings me great joy!

 

Niels De Meyer

I am now living in Mechelen at the moment working at Ferm organic farm and going to Plukrijp on a weekly basis.

I see Plukrijp as a model for permaculture and a form of real “social security” where I’ve made some great friendships. I was fortunate to live at Plukrijp for almost two years and study under Frank in some of his finest years. The open household, no-nonsense culture there is truly special.

Permaculture is to me a path that I’ve been on for almost 10 years now, and one that feels like it will be a thread and a calling for the rest of my life. I hope to be a living example and a mascot or guardian for others on the way. I bring my passion and perspectives to the table, and I love to share the mistakes I have made as “traps” for others to save them time. I am deeply inspired by Christopher Alexander’s A Pattern Language, a vision of design to make places come alive for human beings.

You are most likely to find me in the garden at one of the places I have committed to, and I look forward to seeing you there and finding out how we will collaborate.

 

Johannes Jonker (Jojo)

I was a horticulture student and travelling musician until I discovered Plukrijp and realized there was a way in which humans could cooperate with nature (permaculture) instead of controlling it.

Intrigued, I set foot on the path of learning from the hyper practical teachings Plukrijp and Frank had to offer on living together, no-nonsense permaculture, and music. Humbled, I bagan to rethink what I had learned thus far and set my mind and heart to learning from nature, experience, and sharing.

After a year of working on Plukrijp, and with the help of Frank’s teachings, the cycles of the garden and community became much clearer so I started to work with them to keep the hummus growing, the veggies tasty, the music alive, and the people living together in harmony and synergy.

The wellspring of life and wealth that comes from working together with nature in a clear and meaningful way is the essence of what I saw in Plukrijp and is what I intend to keep alive through sharing my knowledge, presence & music in the new era of Plukrijp & Permaculture.

Anthony Cloet

Anthony brought to Plukrijp all the beauty of who he is in 2019. His generous and sensitive nature nchants everyone who crosses his path. He has a university education in the field of economics and he is eager for knowledge. He has the art of taking an interest in everyone because he is convinced that everyone has an enriching story to share.