Sisters Ankie and Aafke run a market garden at the edge of the northern Dutch city of Leeuwarden. “It’s an American concept,” Aafke explains, “a relatively small-scale garden with a very diverse variety of vegetables you either sell directly to customers or to restaurants and caterers as we do mostly.” The diversity in produce is good for a healthy soil and the environment and besides that market gardens can be highly efficient and make a good profit if you plan your different crops well. “It’s a really good concept, which helps biodiversity and creates a really healthy garden with as a bonus a nice profit.”
Everything grows abundantly in their garden, in neat rows next to each other. In seed trays young vegetables are ready to be planted. "We sow new vegetables every week, that we first grow in trays. That way, the supply to our customers is regular and there always are new, fresh vegetables," says Ankie. In addition to familiar vegetables, the sisters also grow lesser-known vegetables, such as red sorrel "which has a nice fresh-sour taste and looks beautiful with its deep red colour, it is really popular with restaurants we supply," Aafke says.
"We also have an entire border of edible flowers, which we use to decorate the wood-fired pizzas we bake ourselves at the weekend," adds Ankie. "Aafke built the pizza oven herself from clay from Friesland, right here out of the soil," she says, pointing to the beautiful rustic wood-fired oven. "We fill the pizzas with seasonal vegetables from the garden, it doesn’t get any fresher than that.”
Ankie & Aafke love to cook from their garden and shared some of their favourite recipes, with veg from their garden: Ankie & Aafke's Favourites | Recipes from their Frisian Garden