news-November 8, 2023-written by:Marieke Karssen

We decided to turn our VOF into an association and then organized a day without a program and also without catering. Terrifying of course, but the outcome of all that letting go was incredibly delicious, packed with connection, new stories, the first food forest pub quiz, beautiful plants and other food forest goodies.

The Food from Your Forest day? A super rich start to our association!

What preceded it?

Food from the Woods is seven years old. A moment to celebrate, but also to look ahead, because from this day forward, Food from the Woods is an association. For and by its own members, that is. To mark this, we organized a day with structure, but without a program.

Especially when working without a program, but with opportunities for activities and partial actions, the preparation is quite intensive. We actually opened this day with our sign-up sheet where the 120 registrants could tell us what they were looking for, and what they came to bring.

The result? Eight super fun booths, 10 speakers on the fruit box, eight campfire stories, a meet & greet with the food forest cast guests, 20 volunteers who helped us with everything throughout the day and incredible amounts of delicious food. The "only" thing left for our own team to do was bring it all together at the right time.

The start

It was raining heavily, but fortunately at food forest Haven, everything could be moved inside as well. The day took place in three spaces: the kitchen, the barn and the part. In the first you could find all the food and drinks, in the second you could sit and listen to the various speakers and in the third were all the stalls. The day was of course kicked off by Frank Gorter and Marieke Karssen. They talked about why they had come to this decision and why an association is important for everyone who cares about food forests.

And, after the opening, it also stopped raining!

The market had eight stalls of mostly growers and seed sellers and, of course, the very first Food Forest Shop in the Netherlands. We ourselves were at the head and welcomed everyone. We expected all the stalls to go home sold out, because really almost everyone had indicated that they wanted to see and know more about planting materials. But... we are not worried yet hear about the growers, because we saw most people go home with a few plants and we know that a lot of those people have acres of food forest to fill.

Everyone's lunch

We had no idea beforehand how much and if there would be enough food. We had stocked up quite a few loaves of bread and made a big pan of soup, but our expectations were more than exceeded. There was so much so incredibly delicious food on the table. Thanks to everyone who contributed in one way or another!

The (probably) very first Food Forest Pub Quiz

Frank Tibben and Sylvia Bosveld rounded out the lunch with what was probably the very first Food Forest Pub Quiz. Super fanatically all teams went to work to provide the correct answers. The battle ended undecided with two teams with the same point total. Madelon Oostwoud came up with the bouncer question and the winning team went home with beautiful products from the Food Forest store Klein Stetteyn Deli in Oosterbeek.


Food Forest Haven

As the day progressed, the weather cleared up more and more. In the afternoon, Anje Poortman led the field trip to the food forest.

The podcast plate was awarded

Marieke van der Velden looked for a way to capture, visualize everything you learn from listening to a podcast, so to speak, and at the end of the day she handed her first record to Frank and Marieke. A really very nice visualization that I hope we can do more with.

Around a campfire, miracles happen

And yes, where did we all end up? At that campfire. From that it could, Frank Gorter actually sat and kept a fire warm all day and more and more food forest cast guests and teachers and participants in the day gathered until we were all sitting around the fire at the end.

Want to see all the photos again?

We created a Google Photos album with all the photos of everyone from the team and volunteer group. Were you there and want to share your photos too? Feel free to add them.

View all photos here

Join your association too!

This day could only be such a success because we all contributed to it. The same goes for the food forest movement. If we keep organizing bottom up, from the content, from the shared passion for healthy food that increases biodiversity and really tackles climate problems, we are unbeatable and it will become clear even to more and more skeptics that this really is the most beautiful form of agriculture and the most beautiful form of nature.

We can only do that together with you and if you join what is your association.

You can join in two ways: as a regular member, or as a professional member. All members get voting rights, and we do different things for and with both categories. Read more about it on the memberships page.


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