Tom's work

Organic farmer

Five years ago Tom started up his organic farm Het Open Veld in Leuven. He grows over 60 types of vegetables and fruits on his two hectares. He also has beautiful cherry trees, sheep for grazing and bees. The best part is that the farm is at the border of the city of Leuven, so the food production takes place very close to the people who eat the food- and it is organic, seasonal and ethically sound.

Tom’s farm is different from most. It builds around the principal of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). This means that his 240 clients subscribe at the beginning of the year and pay a fixed sum of money. Tom does most of the work himself; ploughs, sows and grows, and when the fruit’s and vegetables are ready his clients come to the farm and harvest themselves. They can also help out more if they want. Some CSA schemes deliver weekly to clients, but Tom wanted to avoid packaging and transport
This way of farming has a number of positive sides, here are just a few:

  1. There is a shared risk between the farmer and the clients. Tom’s income is secured – and when the season is extra good his clients benefit
  2. The supply chain is shortened. Trust and a personal relationship between farmer and client develops
  3. The location of the farm allows Tom’s clients to show up by foot or by bike, reducing transport pollution
  4. The clients get an affordable, fresh, seasonal, local, good conscience healthy food
  5. Clients become involved, they can bring their children to the farm to learn about where food comes from, and rediscover their relationship with the earth and food
  6. There is nothing as tasty as eating fresh food that you picked yourself, that has been made at a fair price with respect for the earth and society

For more information- please visit Tom’s website

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