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Firma R.L. de Vries en zoon

R.L. de Vries en Zoon - VerSlavend lekker (addictively delicious lettuces)!

Company name:Firma R.L. de Vries en zoon
Location(s):Heemskerk, Netherlands
Cultivation: Lollo bionda
Lollo rosso
Oak leaf lettuce
Romaine lettuce

For five generations the De Vries Family has operated a horticultural company in Heemskerk.

The sandy soil, situated next to the Heemskerk dunes, are highly suited to growing a variety of vegetables, flowers, and plants. The quick heating of the soil in springtime, combined with the many hours of sunshine and the beneficial influence of the sea makes for optimal growing conditions. Over the years the De Vries family has grown, among others, strawberries and spinach on this land. Since 2002 the company has relocated to a different part of Heemskerk, where the company has grown leafy greens. Lollo Bionda and Lollo Rosso –differently-colored varieties of Oak Leaf Lettuce,– Expedition, and Romaine Lettuce are grown here with great care.

See all varieties of leafy greens

Good cooperation with Versland

Pleasant cooperation through short lines and good communication

On the subject of cooperation with Versland Ramon de Vries is clear and terse: “We need each other and as green growers we have to follow nature. It’s good when your buyer thinks along in that regard. Short lines of communication, communicating ahead of time, being honest and clear.”

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Lettuce and Leafy Greens under Eco-label

Since 2012 our company grows lettuce and leafy greens under the Milieukeur eco-label

All our operations are closely observed with regards to the flora and fauna in and around the company. The extra strict regulations with regards to surface water, crop protection, and fertilization are challenging but attainable.

De hele bedrijfsvoering wordt tegen het licht gehouden met betrekking tot de flora en fauna in en om het bedrijf. De extra strenge regels met betrekking tot water, gewasbescherming en bemesting zijn uitdagend maar haalbaar.

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First Ever Rucola Grower in the Netherlands

In 2013 the first tests of rucola were sown, using a sowing machine of our own design.

At the time the outdoors growing of rucola in the Netherlands was an entirely new leaf. In the meantime Ramon and Douwe de Vries have become –through trial and error– specialists in growing rucola. We continually improve on the work of previous growing seasons. The last few years have seen tremendous leaps forward in tilling the soil and the sowing process. Our experiences are used to improve the harvesting machines and growing strategies for the following season. Tractors and machines are revised and adapted for an even more successful growing season.

Learn more about our rucola

Inventors of an elastic band machine and the first sowing machine

Unafraid of a challenge or an invention is how you could best describe Ramon and Douwe de Vries (fourth and fifth generation)

A large proportion of the machines used have at the very least been adapted to best suit their wishes, but they are also unafraid to invent their own tools from scratch. Many solutions, born out of a common-sense approach to solving problems, are found throughout the company. “It’s in our blood,” says Ramon de Vries as he suddenly leaves the canteen only to return moments later with an astonishing machine.

“My grandfather grew a lot of rhubarb, but elastic bands for bunching up the produce were impossible to find, so we had to make our own.” What followed was –to say the least– a machine that speaks to the imagination. The apparatus (which roughly consists of a pair of hedge clippers, a bicycle crank set, an electric engine, some crankshafts, and snares) makes perfectly circular rubber bands out of leftover inner tyres.

“To this day I still find these things when they get stuck to the hoeing machine, even though we haven’t used them for years. Good stuff, apparently,” jokes Douwe de Vries. Furthermore, granddad De Vries invented the first sowing machine for spinach that could sow multiple rows at a time.

Enjoy the addictively delicious lettuces of R.L. de Vries and Son year-round

Lettuce and other leafy vegetables