The Eemlandhoeve is a dream come true for farmer Jan Huijgen, who built the business step by step into a virtual village; complete with a village 'street' surrounded by buildings. The deep litter barn for the cattle is at the centre, surrounded by the meeting rooms, farm store, offices, the landscape house and the care farm, among others.
The Huijgen family comes from a long line of farmers in the Eemland region. A Huijgen is mentioned in the diary of a mayor of Amersfoort as early as 1585. The original farm was located in the middle of the village Spakenburg. With the reorganisation of the polder, the farms from the developed areas within the village were moved to the Arkemheen-Eemland national landscape, nearby Bunschoten-Spakenburg.
At this point the actual story of the Eemlandhoeve begins; growing from a local farm into an example of rural entrepreneurship of European significance:
- 1993: Local: Construction begins: a deep litter barn connected to a farmhouse for meetings
- 1998: Regional: expansion of education and farm store; regional landscapes association
- 2003: National: expansion of offices and meeting rooms; the start of the national cooperative Stadteland
- 2008: European: expansion of care farm, workrooms for the farm and landscape house; start of the European Versatile Countryside Network, host for the European Eemland Conference
- 2013: Expansion plans for the Eemlandhoeve with overnight accommodations Boerenbedstee and the 'reflection room' and the start of a global network.
The book Cityside Oasis [link to book and order form] (2008) tells the 15 year story of the Eemlandhoeve written by the journalists Stijn Postema and Tjirk van der Ziel.
Read the introduction to the book by Euro-commissioner Mrs. Mariann Fischer-Boel and the Dutch Minister of Agriculture Gerda Verburg.