When life throws you grapes, make wine
Extra versatility of Synergy outfront mower deck sustains organic status of Holland’s first Dutch wine and care company
With increased pressure to feed a growing global population, farming families have embraced modern science and technology to maximise output at whatever cost. So when John and Wilma Huisman took over the family farm in Balkbrug, in the eastern province of Overjissel, Netherlands in 1993, they chose a different approach. The couple embraced organic farming methods, valuing quality over quantity. An illness in the family would force John and Wilma to change tack again in 2003, this time planting grape vines on 3 hectares of sandy soil. This was the beginning of De Reestlander wines.
“We are always looking for alternative methods to keep the vineyard healthy. In addition to following organic practices in full, we also apply homeopathy and various minerals to boost the health of the vines,” the website explains. Some of the unique practices include playing classical music during the growing season. Lab research shows plant cell walls become stronger and more resilient to diseases when classical music is played. Hard rock has the opposite effect on vines.
In 2013, De Reestlandhoeve opened its vineyard to individuals with a variety of mental and behavioural illnesses, providing a safe environment where they can obtain therapy through work. A dozen or so patients arrive on the farm each day to maintain the vineyard, participate in winemaking and generally learn how to integrate into society as productive people.
In 2018, De Reestlandhoeve obtained its B Corp certification, joining the international movement of sustainable, transparent and socially responsible companies with members including Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Patagonia. It is the first Dutch wine and care company among a growing list of European companies balancing profit and social impact with responsible business practices.
Reasons for buying the Major Synergy outfront mower:
- The width of the machine suits the row-culture of the vineyard perfectly.
- Also the rear roller makes a fine finish in the recreation area on their farm for the day activities.