Vrouwtje Paling (“Lady Eel”)

Bijzondere mensen, Besondere Menschen, Remarkable people

Vrouwtje Paling (“Lady Eel”) had the gift of communicating with fish. When she sat by the waterside and called the fish, the bream, perch, eel, tench and carp heeded her call.

Rotteveel Farmhouse cheese: from cattle farmer to cheese farm

Boerenleven, Polders, Farm life, Polders

Reporter Paul Graafland visited the Rotteveel family in Rijpwetering. An informative hour of nature education and his dream came true. What is farmhouse cheese, and how it’s made?

The story of the polders

Kaag en Braassem
Polders, Polder , Polders

It must have looked amusing. Inspectors of Hoogheemraadschap Rijnland tackling cracks in the dikes with a watering can and some soil. Very basic perhaps, but extremely effective. Boats sprayed the dikes from the water. The spring of 2011 threatened to become even dryer than the preceding year and peat dikes do not like dryness. If they dry out, they can break.

Veenderpolder and Lijkerpolder: Water Tower Tulip

Polders, Polder , Polders

Roelofarendsveen has traditionally been one of the villages where most tulips in the Netherlands are scalded. The huge tulip on the water tower reflects this top position, but also symbolises the importance of horticulture in this municipality.

Veenderpolder and Lijkerpolder: Polder transport

Roelofarendsveen, Nieuwe Wetering
Polders, Polder , Polders

The peat polder consisted of wet land with coppiced woodland. In order to grow on this,narrow strips of land were laid out with ditches around them for drainage. The fields could only be reached by boat. Everything was transported by barges.

Veenderpolder and Lijkerpolder: The Gherkin monster

Polders, Polders

Back in the days, growers cultivated gherkins (groffies in Dutch) here. When a harvest failed, it was fault of the swimming Gherkin monster. Parents warned their children to stay away from the waterfront, the Gherkin monster loved delicious children’s legs too.

Veenderpolder and Lijkerpolder: The Auction

Polders, Polder , Polders

In 1912 the plant growers cooperative Eendracht Maakt Macht (Unity Creates Power) built an auction house. Plant growers brought their products before the bell and the tribune with merchants by boat. The building has been partially preserved and now houses the Wagenaar restaurant.

Veenderpolder and Lijkerpolder: The lock

Polders, Polder , Polders

In 1632 a quayside was built around the polder due to the flooding of the Braassem. Four wooden locks were built for water regulation and accessibility. This is the only lock still there. It dates from 1897 and replaced the first, wooden sluice.

Veenderpolder and Lijkerpolder: Bulbs and Flowers

Polders, Polders

Tulip bulbs are grown here since 1880. In 1927, bulbs were planted for the production of flowers for the first time. During wintertime, growers wanted to gain some extra income as they couldn’t cultivate vegetables. It was the start of a flourishing industry.

If the blades are turning, the mill is open

Leven met water, Polders, Living with water , Polders

Kinderdijk has many windmills. But Kaag en Braassem has more: twenty to be precise. One of them is the Kalkmolen along Doespolderweg in Hoogmade. Arie Driesprong is the proud miller of this hollow post mill and is happy to receive people. ‘A cup of coffee or tea is available for anyone who wants to look at the windmill. The windmill is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays and when the blades are turning.’

Ferry hopping in the Kaag en Braassem wetlands

Handelswegen, Leven met water, Handelswege , Leben mit Wasser , Living with water , Trade routes

With all the water in Kaag en Braassem it can sometimes be difficult to get places. In order to help cyclists and pedestrians from having to go kilometres out of their way through the polders, ferries are used at various points. In most cases this very handy.

Mariahoeve-lodging; sleep and wake up between cows

Boerenleven, Leven met water, Polders, Farm life, Living with water , Polders

Paul Graafland visited John and Mirjam van der Salm from Mariahoeve-lodging in Woubrugge (Ofwegen). A family business that not only runs a dairy farm, but rents out holiday cottages too. Where you sleep and wake up between cows.