Nieuws - 7 juli 2011

Garden Competition at Droevendaal

Last Thursday when I was in a campfire klatch at Droevendaal, I noticed a poster on a door by chance: 'Best Garden of Droevendaal Competition, July 2nd'. I had no reason to miss it.

A paradise of natural life
Don't laugh at me: as a guy brought up in town, I find it's difficult to tell the names of vegetables and fruits outside of the supermarket. When following the committee of this event to drop by every house at Droevendaal, I felt like an illiterate without common sense of life. But it didn't impede my enjoyment of this tour.

Peter, Eveline and Diederik, three Msc students spatial planning, comprised the jury of the competition. Although they had checked half of the houses before my belated arrival, they still welcomed my joining and answered my questions patiently. The first house I visited with them was No.47, the one that Diederik lives in. He showed us around their composting system, fireplace, vegetable field, chicken coop, what's more, the jam from their own-grown cranberries. By our request, Diederik took us to his kitchen to taste that fresh home-made jam with the brown bread. 'Lekker, tien punten!' I made a thumb-up sign and showed off my Dutch by the way. I was amazed to witness the so-called self-sufficient small-scale peasant economy in this community, which I thought only existed in ancient China. Tell you one more secret, Diederik and his house mates produced self-made rhubarbcello! What is rhubarbcello? Go to wiki 'lemoncello' then you will know the answer.

After the yummy jammy vieruurtje ('snack' in Dutch), we continued our tour. As a layman of gardening, I didn't identify much difference between these houses, but I could recognize their 'ardent love' of nature. For instance, Eliska, a Czech girl from house No.35, introduced their 'couch around nature', which actually was a broken couch surrounded by nettles. Diederik, as the chairman of the committee, tested the waters and took a seat on it. From his face I guessed he preferred a normal chair. Anyway, I like this couch with a smack of philosophical wisdom. Besides, we encountered many fancy gadgets at other houses, such as trampoline, solar bulbs on a tree, or a fence made of old bicycle a word, a feast for the eyes.
Due to the Bergpop music festival in the city, they cancelled the potluck and postponed the announcement of result to Monday afternoon. I was invited to follow them to present prizes to each winner. I was impressed by the blissful smiles on the winners' faces; they didn't take it for granted but really cared about the honor and the beauty of their gardens.

Thanks to this event, I realize Droevendaal has something more than poppy and Hippies, there I even perceive some fashions to the future. 'Best Garden of Droevendaal', see you next year!

Vid of the week: Best vegetable garden of Droevendaal, 2011