news-March 4, 2024-written by:Marieke Karssen

For most food forest starters, this is the most difficult issue: money, (good) agreements, earning capacity, regulations and contracts. You want to get started restoring the soil, increasing biodiversity, and growing up in a fantastic new place, but you can't do that without also getting things right economically and in terms of agreements.

Money, contracts and revenue models

Land must be secured for the long term. So you cannot work with a free lease. The first few years you earn nothing at all. How do you get through those? And land in the Netherlands is ridiculously expensive. How do you incorporate that burden into your earning model?

Fortunately, we have had some super bright minds in this field on the podcast who can talk about this topic in an inspired way. Because they know that if you want to change the world, you have to crack these nuts, too, and are each working in their own way to actually make that happen.

Want to read more about why this bundling into themes and also view and listen to the other themes? Then read on here.

Podcast 23: Stijn Heijs

The theme kicks off with company doctor Stijn Heijs. He is used to immediately looking for the weak links and getting companies (back) on track from there. So when he came into contact with food forests, his first impulse was to take a very critical look at that business model, turn it over 10 times and strip it down again, and after that whole process he could come to no other conclusion than that it could work out fine. So he became active within food forestry foundation to coach farmers in developing their new industry: large-scale food forestry.

Podcast 6: Liesbeth van Bemmel

Liesbeth is a lawyer. And food forest builder in the middle of the green heart. In fact, she also reads zoning plan attachments. And teaches us, in this podcast, that we should do the same. She talks about where she came from, how illness caused her to seek health and a different lifestyle, how nearly philosophical legal thinking can be, and how she has developed not one but several revenue models on her still quite small food forest.

Podcast 8: Vincent Bogaart

Vincent is spiritual as well as businesslike. An unusual combination that led him from a childhood in nature to a career in petrochemicals and then to an increasingly spiritual path. He is an impact investor and explains exactly what that means. He also owns a food forest himself and lives in an eco-village. So he also has his own experience with many forms of contract, collaboration and revenue models.

Podcast 9: Arne Driessen

Arne is a very special investor. In fact, he is also a gardener. And Japanologist, but that aside. Together with his mother, he invests in green companies with innovative business models and can tell you about them both enthusiastically and practically. You can hear him constantly looking for models and entrepreneurs and forms of business that can fly and scale without, of course, losing the ecological principles that it's all about.

Podcast 18: Marc Buiter

Until 2023, Marc Buiter was the man thinking big within the Food Forestry Foundation. He has had a long career in organizations like Urgenda, knows an incredible amount about transitions, and about all the environmental problems that regular agriculture brings. Think pollution, energy consumption and that worldwide. In his view, agriculture needs to change day before yesterday, and change needs to hurry up and scale. Listen to a man full of impatience and with, at the same time, a tremendously long breath.

Podcast 38: Maarten van Dam and Jeroen Plesman

Maarten and Jeroen come from the world of finance. So raising 4 million for their regenerative farm Schevichoven was the easy part for them! Their calculations also show that regenerative farming with especially perennial crops can be out in the long run. But their reality is also ecological and also unruly. A delightful podcast full of valuable lessons from two courageous and honest entrepreneurs.


Podcast 40: Kien van Hövell

We conclude this theme with the wide and far-seeing Kien van Hövell of Grootstal estate in and near Nijmegen. A small estate that is colored by the city it is now almost in. And which is also partly in another municipality. If anyone has for years been able to connect their own ecological goals with the nearby residential neighborhood, school, municipalities, farmers, neighbors, forest and city then Kien is it. She has also developed a very interesting model for multi-entrepreneurship on her estate.

Listened to everything?

Are you familiar with our other themes? No? Then take a look at the theme page