Cucumbers, courgettes, and aubergines from Westland
Yilmaz Ayik has five greenhouses in the Westland: three in Monster, two in Poeldijk.
‘I’ve been in this business for more than 20 years now,’ says Yilmaz. ‘I started out working with a market gardener to learn the trade. Once I’d learned enough, I rented a piece of land from him and started my own business. After that I grew slowly; I’ve just taken over a piece of land from a market gardener. I grow cucumbers, courgettes, and aubergines and in winter I add a little lettuce and radish.’
Yilmaz uses three of his greenhouses for the courgettes.
‘We grow these using substrate mats. ‘The courgettes are sown in December, and we have the first harvest after four weeks,’ says Yilmaz. ‘The cucumbers and aubergines are in the other greenhouses. We sow those around May. After about three to four weeks we harvest them, and this continues until mid-October. All in all it’s a lot of work, which is why I employ people all year round.’
Fresh from the field
We use foil to protect our crops,’ says Yilmaz.
‘These means that we have no insects or weeds to deal with: the soil stays completely clean. We still harvest by hand. The crops are sorted, placed in boxes, and stacked on pallets. The pallets are picked up directly by the various customers. That makes our products truly fresh from the field.’