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"Working outdoors until the middle of December"

We visit De Hoef nursery at the peak of the season. The team is working at full speed to load all Ellwoodiis, Snowwhites and other types of Chamaecyparis into one truck after another. Real tough men, because you have to stand the cold to be able to do this work: until the middle of December the work is done outdoors.

Two brothers and a team
The nursery is run by the brothers Patrick and Arjan Veld from Schalkwijk. With a team of 10 employees, they take care of the cultivation of 2.5 million conifers per year. In particular Chamaecyparis lawsoniana Ellwoodii, Snowwhite, Toppoint, Picea Conica and Thuja Emerald are cultivated in the pot sizes 9, 10.5 and 13 centimeters. The division of tasks between the brothers is clear: Arjan is responsible for the cultivation and Patrick takes care of the business and administrative side of the company. They are integrated in such a way that they can take over each other's tasks when necessary.

Originally De Hoef is a family business. The grandparents of Patrick and Arjan were in the fruit cultivation and the next generation started with the cultivation of conifers. Arjan and Patrick have been able to further increase the cultivation so that it has now grown into a company with a cultivation area of ​​6.5 hectares.

The name 'De Hoef' sometimes causes confusion, because it is not the surname of the brothers. The explanation is that each plot in Schalkwijk has its own name. The plot on which the nursery stands is called 'de Hoef'.

Seasonal products
Cultivation is entirely in their own hands, from cuttings to end products. The cuttings are grown in greenhouses and after 1 or 2 years it is ready for the outdoor cultivation.

Because only Christmas products are grown, the whole year revolves around the last quarter in which all trade leaves the nursery. In order to steer these exports in the right direction, the preparation is very important. That is why it is sorted in early October, so that from November onwards they can fully focus on the correct delivery of the plants.

Many conifers can also be bought snowy, for this the nursery has developed its own system.

The future
In a preview of the future, Patrick indicates that there are plans for modernization in the form of a large warehouse to work with the large number of plants.

In terms of sustainability, the company is already well developed, as it is in possession of the MPS GAP and MPS A certificates.

The team of De Hoef is in full swing to make it a cozy Christmas season with their contribution to the beautiful compact varieties of conifers.

Source: OZ Planten
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