At the Zeeland estate Hof Ter Linde, in the Netherlands, you find OEST.
A farm where you can stay, camp in the food forest, stay in the holiday home, taste the countryside, or work on the permaculture projects.
The owners are Marieke and Jeroen and together with their two talented children Julie & Mare, they run OEST. Marieke & Jeroen, both in their forties are very passionate and inspiring people. Marieke studied health sciences and is now a yoga teacher, gardener, permaculturist, and hostess. She preferably eats from her own garden and as pure as possible. Marieke would love to leave the world more beautiful as she found it and likes to inspire others to do the same. Her husband Jeroen has a background in the oil and gas industry. He found out that he can perfectly live without that industry, as can the rest of the world, and now focuses on self-development and independence. The slogan “you can do more than you think” has become a motto for him and everything he does.
What was the motivation behind starting Oest?
We bought the farm in 2015 with a nice piece of land where we started working with the principles of permaculture. We became so enthusiastic about this, that we wanted to inspire others to do something with permaculture as well. When two years later, the forest next to our land came up for sale, we added it to our domain. We wanted it to become a place were people could stay so they could enjoy the beauty of this spot in nature and to introduce them to the permaculture lifestyle.
Where does the name ‘Oest’ come from and what does it mean?
Traditionally, the estate on which we live is called “Hof ter Linde”. Previously this was not an ecological or biological estate, but it is now. But there is another company in Zeeland called “Ter Linde” that farms ecologically. This caused confusion and we actually wanted a slightly bolder name. Together with a creative designer we came up with the name OEST, a bolder & more international name. It’s also South African for “harvest”, we are originally from the east of the Netherlands and in our language the word for that is “Oosten”. So a beautiful name with a collection of meanings.
This property has a lot of charm and character, how did you find it?
We were looking for a house with a piece of land to grow our own vegetables and fruit. A space to be busy. The farm came our way, with a little more land than we actually needed ☺︎, and we felt a a connection with the previous owner who was born here and lived here for over 70 years. We immediatly fell in love with it and he entrusted us the farm.
How did the passion for permaculture originate?
Through our travels as “Wwoofers” we came into contact with permaculture. The more we learned and read about it, the more it became natural for us to organize our country and company according to the principles of permaculture
What does community mean to you and how do you try to add more value to it?
For us community is about sharing. Sharing experiences, sharing knowledge & skills, sharing products & materials and mainly about sharing time. By sharing you help each other and that gives a lot of satisfaction. With a community, you can work together on projects. Which is not only fun and educational, but often also provides better results because different people, all with their own ideas and creativity, have contributed to the project.
Any future dreams or plans for Oest?
There are still many dreams and luckily we will never stop dreaming. That is why we may never materialize some dreams, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. What we will build in the future is a more extensive range of accommodation in the food forest. We also want to offer more workshops and develop Oest into a knowledge and experience center in the field of permaculture. We will continue to renovate and furnish the agricultural shed to make that possible. We will also plant more (edible) trees and shrubs every year, in the coming weeks we will get ourselves busy converting the piece of grassland, adjacent to the forest, into a future food forest.