Holland greenhouse tomato facts

Some Holland greenhouse tomato facts to prepare for your visit to the Dutch horticulture hotspot. Just a few basics on the tomato plant and the vegetable itself.

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Food tour greenhouse Hague private teambuilding Verita's Visit

Holland Greenhouse Growing Good Food

 The huge flower auction Flora Holland is next door. Small town Monster is not intimidated.  It has a jungle hidden from sight and a secret Garden of Eden where your tastebuds are tempted. Monster has Koppert Cress, a Holland greenhouse growing good food.

 

North Sea & Greenhouse Cycling

The Dutch Glass City is a bike ride away from my home near The Hague. When there is an event or conference I hop on my bike and cycle through the polders, meadows and greenhouses or take the cycling route along the North Sea. Enroute I stop for some good food. Fruit and vegetables grown in the Holland greenhouses. Marja, who I recently met in an event at Hortiheroes, is a true specialist when it comes to finding places to buy local food in the Glass City while cycling.

 

Holland Greenhouse Growing Good Food

This time we meet at Koppert Cress.  This is a Holland greenhouse growing good food. In this context, when I say good food I mean garden cress. Did you know that the cress is high in nutrients and contains different vitamines and essential minerals?  Take the sprouts of broccoli, the broccocress.  To get the same amount of nutrients as broccoli you need a much smaller quantity of cress.  Hint: this is one of the few Koppert cresses you can buy in the supermarket (!)

Top chefs in restaurants all over the world use the cress, fresh or dried, in dressings, soups, salads, sandwiches. The effect of the cress is biggest when you consume it raw. Which is what we did ( keep reading ;) )

Cressperience

To keep their product exclusive Koppert focusses on the restaurants.  Every once in a while the company organises an evening for all those interested in the Cress lifestyle, in Holland greenhouses growing good food. The evening is a tasting experience which starts in a jungle room. Dutch Jungle Greenhouse Growing Good Food Verita's Visit

The organisers then serve several cresses and flowers. Tasting non traditional Dutch grown food Verita's Visit

Electrifying Edible Flower

The yellow bud in the picture is especially worth mentioning. It is a Sechuan button. It is like fireworks exploding in your mouth and stimulates the production of saliva. An interesting, somewhat uncomfortable sensation. It  supposedly cleanse the palate.

Garden of Tasteful Discoveries

After this buzzing experience we enter the Garden of Eden that tempts the tastebuds. Every plant here is edible. From salty sea vegetables to chocolate mint, from sour leaves to tropical spinach. My mouth, my lips, my tongue, all exhausted from these tasteful discoveries.

Dutch Cuisine

Koppert Cress is not just a Holland greenhouse growing good food. It also promotes Dutch Cuisine, which mainly uses seasonal vegetables and fruit ( 80%) and only a small amount of fish or meat ( 20%). In this 'consumers' event ' we get to taste what they usually serve in their company's canteen.

Holland Greenhouse growing good food Verita's Visit

Back to Nature

After this great meal I head home through the most amazing landscape.cycling path Hague custom tour op maat Haag fietstocht Verita's Visit


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3 beautiful villages Holland a daytrip away from Amsterdam

Small picturesque towns in the Netherlands, where locals are not used to tourists. Places where you sit on a terrace overlooking a cosy market square and take in typical Dutch daily scenes or see small sailing boats pass by. In these 3 beautiful villages Holland you still experience the authentic Dutch way of life.

 

Plan your stops on your bike ride through the Dutch countryside. It was one of my recommendations in my post on countryside cycling in Holland. The 5 beautiful villages in the Netherlands mentioned in this post definitely deserve a visit and offer great cafés and restaurants for a drink and a bite.

Dutch famous flower village

The first Dutch village is well known for the biggest tulip garden in Europe. Direct busses from Amsterdam airport Schiphol, Haarlem and Leiden drop millions of visitors right in front of the Keukenhof. They visit the flower park, get back on the bus and leave the cute flower village Lisse behind.  It has a cosy town square, called De Vierkant, where different events are organised. From this square you can easily access bulb culture museum De Zwarte Tulp. The St Agatha church around the corner is worth seeing! Love Dutch pancakes or in for Italian pasta? Pick one of the small restaurants in this beautiful village in Holland.

On my flower field bike tours I regularly make a stop at Lisse or any of the other small flower towns near Keukenhof.

Beautful villages Holland
One of the beautiful villages Holland

History of one of the most beautiful villages Holland

For me one of the most beautiful villages Holland, in the greenhouse area, is Naaldwijk. With close to 20.300 habitants it's actually a city, although its compact city centre feels like a village. Naaldwijk is in the heart of the Westland and is famous for its horticulture. You might know the place from Royal Flora Holland, the largest flower auction cooperation. You can find it right outside the city centre, next to a busy highway.  The best kept secret in Naaldwijk is the Kerkstraat, a circular road around the main church. It's for pedestrians and cyclists. There's even a signposted cycle route through this small street. This historical street, decorated with flowers in summer, is very picturesque. Hidden in a corner is a 15th century courtyard with a unique small chapel. On the market square around the corner are plenty of options for food & drinks.

Verita's Visit quaint town near The Hague tour & event Netherlands
Heilig Geesthofje, Naaldwijk

Village with tradition in local products

Flowers need to be transported. Many towns in the surroundings of Delft have a history in the production and transportation of products grown in the greenhouse area. Delft is just a daytrip away from Amsterdam. Not all visitors need a full day in the city of Vermeer, Prince William of Orange and Delftware. If you are visiting Delft and have some time on hands, my tip is to explore Holland by bike and head into the Delft countryside. Besides the typical Dutch landscapes like polders, windmills and canals you'll also pass through authentic and beautiful villages in this part of Holland. One of these pretty towns is Schipluiden. It's a place where many ships transporting goods such as flowers, vegetables and cheese went through. Nowadays you can still see boats on the canal that runs through the centre. The sight of the bridge which is still handdrawn is spectacular. Sit down on one of the terraces along the canal for a coffee or one of the exquisite dishes made from locally grown products.

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August Events in the Netherlands

Summer in Holland is fantastic. Long, colourful days with nice temperatures and a good amount of sunshine ( most of the time at least).   Whether you like music, food or flowers, t here's always something to do. Most of the time you can even combine all of your interests, passions and hobbies by going to one place or even one festival.  Now, to make sure you won't miss out on some typical Dutch activities during your Holland holiday I wanted to highlight some August events in the Netherlands that Verita's Visit organises themed food & flowers.

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On a Bike to a Greenhouse in South Holland

 

The Day I cycled to a Greenhouse in the Westland with a Finnish Family

An orchid grown in Holland-veritasvisitOn an early Spring day when the air had still a fresh touch and the sun was just warming up for her a grand entrance a Finnish family, two OV-bikes and an amazing road bike were waiting for me in front of the City Hall in Delft. Yvonne, the daughter had contacted me a few days before. She was looking for a cycle tour through the Dutch countryside and asked me if it was possible to combine it with a visit to a greenhouse. Her parents were now about to retire, she added, but had a farm in countryside in South Finland. After many pleasant conversations by phone we agreed to make a bike ride to an orchid grower in the Westland.

How a Polder taught me about Swedish-speaking fins

As our cycle tour mainly goes through Dutch polders I’m just about to explain what they are when Yvonne’s mother says it’s the same word in Swedish. Now, I’m not really surprised about the word polder existing in other languages, what I am surprised of is that she talks about the Swedish word and not the Finnish word, as you would presume. Later on, Yvonne explain that her mother tongue is Swedish. Apparently there are around 25.000 people in the Asland islands and 265.000 people in the rest of ( West & South) Finland who are actually Swedish-Fins and have Swedish as they’re mother tongue. Wikipedia says they are descendants from the migrants who moved to Finland during its occupation by Sweden between the 13th and 19th century. It’s an interesting fact that I would never have known about if I wouldn’t have met this family.

Where greenhouses were born

We enter the Westland through the old gate of the  long gone summer residence Sion. There's this idea that the residence's  flower and vegetables gardens were the reason for the region's inhabitants to start the horticulture in this area.  At this very moment a new district is being built on the spot where the summer residence used to be. The project is called Rijswijk Buiten and is meant to recreate the atmosphere of an estate with one main house in the centre, huge farmers houses, courtyard dwellings and a courtyard with lush gardens.

A Mill, a Polder and A story about a Dike

Through the Dutch polder on a bike to a greenhouse
Through the Dutch polder on a bike to a greenhouse

We follow the canal and cycle below the water (this you do have to experience yourself) to the place where the typical Dutch polders, its dikes and mill are a delight for the eyes. This is where you can see how water was managed with mills in the old days and how it is done now with modern electrical pumping engines. While cycling on the dike you get a good view on the different water levels.

Water is everywhere in the town called Wateringen. Although the town was built on a dike to protect it against the water and the many floodings in the Middle Ages, the name for the town is taken from an important family who had built a castle here in the 13th century.

 

How to reach a Dutch greenhouse by bike

Once we cross a viaduct a large greenhouse comes to sight. Van Laak Orchids actually has two huge greenhouses in the same block covering in total 125,000 m2. You can imagine it’s almost a full cycle tour just to get to the entrance.

What DUtch Herring and Finnish Potatoes have in common

Yvonne tells me a bit about her parent’s greenhouse. It was for domestic use and much smaller than this one. They grew potatoes. The new potatoe, sold from the end of April, is nice and sweet and have a very soft skin. It’s very small, you could compare it with a Dutch krieltje They’re very expensive, but Fins look forward to them the whole year and are willing to pay large sums of money. These new potatoes taste best with just a knob of butter, a pinch of salt or some dille. When I hear this story I immediately thought about the new herring in Holland.

When a florist met a orchid grower

Listening to the personal story of Mariëlle van Laak on an exclusive tour through a orchid greenhouse in Holland
Listening to the personal story of Mariëlle ter Laak on an exclusive tour through a orchid greenhouse in Holland

Mariëlle, an enthusiastic florist, married one of the Ter Laak brothers and shortly after opened a  shop inside the orchid greenhouse. The shop is for private sales and a huge success. Mariëlle can't wait to tell us  the story behind the growing of orchids. She takes us to an elevated platform where we have a great view of the orchids in its last stages.  Yvonne and her parents are very much interested and their questions show their experience in the field of nursery and farming. Mariëlle is happy to answer all questions and while making a short tour explains the intensive 2 year long  process of how a small cutting in Taiwan or Bleiswijk becomes a beautiful grown orchid beaming in your living room.

Want to Bike to a Greenhouse?

It’s a fascinating story and one that you could hear, see, feel as well. Just read all the options,  check the calendar for the next Westland greenhouse cycle tour,  or contact me directly to find out about customized tours.

A view into a orchid greenhouse
Come have a look inside a orchid greenhouse

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