Klompe Farm and the Soil Heroes Foundation

Working with Nature in the Netherlands

Appears in
Islands In A Common Sea: Stories of farming, fishing, and food around the world

By Jenny Jefferies

Published 2024

  • About

By Mellany and Jeroen Klompe

The Klompe farm is our Family farm based on the island of Hoeksche Waard in the Netherlands. It is an arable farm of 360 hectares where we grow crops of potatoes, onions, shallots and wheat, as well as soybeans, naked oats, linseed (flax), brown beans, kidney beans, poppyseed, rapeseed, mustard seed, and buckwheat.

We took the farm over from my father in 2013. Back then we were conventional farmers, following the same farming path as my family before me and the neighbours around us. The Netherlands is world-renowned for being one of the most highly innovative and productive agricultural sectors - we are famous for the standard of our agricultural universities and our excellent soils - so there seemed to be no reason to question how we farmed. But as time when by, it was clear to us both that something wasn’t right. We were being forced to add more fertilisers and inputs to our soils just to try and keep the yields stable. Costs were going up, but our yields were going down.