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Remover Spotlight

In an effort to introduce our entrepreneurs, ambassadors, and followers to each other, we like to feature one person (or organization) in every newsletter. Today, we’re highlighting the work of Heleen Eshuis, the founder of Stichting Bosnodig.

Stichting Bosnodig is creating a food forest in the Dutch town of Voorst and has just been certified by ONCRA, our Carbon Accounting framework. You can support Heleen and her work by purchasing credits here or by scheduling a visit to the farm.

Heleen told us a bit about what she does, how her organization works, and what inspires her. Read her answers to some of these questions below, and check out our blog post to read the whole interview (with photos)! 

1) Could you give us a brief description of your work (in general) and what you’ve been up to lately?

My daily work involves working outside on the property. We do this and more with volunteers and children. We planted new trees again and placed a new pole for the kestrel (a small type of falcon). Pollarding the willows (cutting them back to promote new growth), cleaning nest boxes, preparing the ecological vegetable garden for a new season.

I can also be found behind the PC or consulting with people. Consider, for example, how we can manage the site ecologically based around our animals, which we strongly consider–when do we mow, what is the best period, etc. The animals that we focus on are: wild bees and insects, specifically the Kestrel and Little Owl, Hare, Grass Snake, and Partridge. I also am in contact with schools to coordinate when they will come for a visit with students.

2) What inspired you to do this work and why is it important to you?

I started my life’s work because of our shared climate challenge. I’m also a good speaker, but I especially like to roll up my sleeves and DO something. The seed started growing in me and it slowly became very clear what I wanted and how. I was already very green in my actions, but now I wanted to take it a step further. Leaving a legacy for the next generation, for the next 400 years.

The search for land took about 5 years. Options abroad were available, but it turned out to be simpler than that. It became our neighbors’ land! The first 4 hectares are now a reality. On to more!

It appears that if children have a positive experience of nature at a young age, they also take care of this environment later in life. And that is something I keep in mind. Connecting children and nature, allowing them to experience being part of a larger whole, which we must be very careful with!

3) What makes you hopeful about the future of the climate movement?

I think having hope is very important. If you combine that with actually doing something, then it can be very successful. Together we can move forward. I think it’s fantastic to create a place, to form a community, where people meet each other–where we learn from each other and can build a green world together. I find it valuable to see all the green initiatives in the world!

We love Heleen’s work, especially in connecting the next generation back to the land, and her commitment to leaving a positive legacy and a healthy planet! To read more about her story or to purchase cleanup credits that support her directly, check out our website.

Link 1: https://www.bosnodig.nl/

Link 2: https://onsets.org/product/fnl-l-004/

Blog Post Exclusive Q&A

5) What advice do you have for people who might be interested in doing something similar?

Starting a food forest is incredibly fun! If you are interested in doing this, do research. Read books. See who is working on it, visit other projects, take a training course. Meet people, form your own vision. Realize that it takes a lot of time and that you must be willing to make the time. It is very meaningful to be working on this. And…believe in yourself!

6) What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned in your work?

There are so many nice things about this project. When you work outside, you immediately see concrete results, which is very pleasant. I see that green connects people, that they are more relaxed when they are connected to it.

If you look over the years, you see the terrain changing. And then I am very happy when I find a number of caterpillars in the wild bee’s territory–that offers hope. Nature is so powerful, and in just a few years you can create a paradise!

7) How can consumers/the general public actively support businesses like yours in their mission for regenerative climate solutions.

People and companies can support us by becoming a forest ambassador. This is possible because people themselves help with the project. On Mondays we work in the vegetable garden, on Tuesdays, we’re on the grounds and on Thursdays with the children. Or they can come along for a team building day and can also help on the field and finish with a nice dinner in the forest. They can also participate in activities such as yoga or silent days. Purchasing trees is also a nice option, or purchasing carbon credits. There are many possibilities. I encourage you to become a forest ambassador!

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