Ikbenboer, the Netherlands
- DefinitionDevising project idea, defining the aim and main components
- DesignSpecifying details such as time-frame, budget, target indicators, project partners and relevant steps to reach the project objectives
- Open to FinancingSearching and securing funding and investment, setting up relevant financing partnerships, and discussing payment modalities
- ImplementationExecution of feasibility studies, context analysis, plot design, planting and setting up facilities and starting with potential capacity-building
- MaintenanceOperational phase (monitoring and evaluation, impact assessments and adjustments, execution of educational programmes and long-term capacity building)
- Scaling UpScaling up phase is when the project it has already shown success by obtaining impact as well as economic results and it's ready to become replicable.
Arjen Verschure is more than a farmer, even though ikbenboer translates as “I am farmer”. Arjen is more than that. He’s an innovator and a pioneer who wants to be ‘ahead of the curve’. Through several initiatives, Arjen has already been re-connecting agriculture with the consumer. He has been adding value to his farm produce before it leaves the farm gate.
Regenerative agriculture is Arjen’s future vision for his farm. Together with reNature, independent regenerative agriculture advisor Terra Prosperous, and bakery Amarant Bakkers, a trial is conducted on 10 hectares of land. Mixed cropping, strip cropping, and cover cropping with cereals and pulses will be done with oat, lupine, peas, and buckwheat.
Buckwheat being one of the Future 50 Foods, this project will highlight the potential of this crop in a uniquely integrated and beautiful regenerative agriculture system.
A Regenerative Agriculture incubation chamber
Arjen is ready to start working his land. Some 10 hectares will be the incubation chamber for regenerative agriculture. Through the learnings from this pilot, we will create a blueprint for scaling regenerative agriculture on the rest of the farm.
An innovative cropping system
Several new practices will be introduced to Arjen’s farm. Together with independent advisor Arjan Janknegt (Terra Prosperous) a design and implementation plan is developed, with the implementation running over a one-year period. The practices include mixed-, strip-, and cover cropping in combination with several other practices. The goal is to:
- Restore the quality of the soil, increasing the carbon and nutrient contents of the soil;
- Accumulate biodiversity above-ground and below-ground, stimulating beneficial microbes and attracting beneficial insects;
- Improve the capacity of the soil to catch and store water, allowing for better water management and yield stability
- Overall, the new system will be providing a plethora of valuable ecosystem services.
The vision: Transitioning the entire farm
Arjen has the ultimate vision to entirely transform how he currently runs the farm. Inspired by other regenerative farmers, he in the future wants to integrate cattle, pigs, chickens, cereals and pulses for human and animal consumption, agroforestry, and have a diverse palette of practices that strengthen the ecological and economic resilience of his farm.
Lastly: it will make farming more fun for Arjen and more beautiful for the consumer. In the end, he envisions his own pancake restaurant, selling delicious fresh pancakes made with eggs, milk, and flour—all from his own farm.
An opportunity for Knorr
The combination of buckwheat with other cereals and pulses, in a beautiful location and with a motivated farmer, means ikbenboer has a clear opportunity for story telling and promotion for Knorr, which we are happy to help realize.