Interview with a Boerengroep Board Member: Anouk Borsboom

Boerengroep is made by a multitude of people, and today we want to introduce you to Anouk Borsboom, secretary of Boerengroep!

Where are you from?

I am from the Netherlands, but I grew up in France.

Do you have a farming background?

No, but I have been volunteering on farms while traveling in South-East Asia and India. And after these workaway experiences, I continued volunteering at a CSA farm in Utrecht. And that is what took me to the master of Organic Agriculture.

What do you study?

Master of Organic Agriculture.

Who found who first? You or the Boerengroep? (How did it happen? How long have you been active in BG?)

When I moved to Wageningen, I was looking for organisations that are more strongly rooted in practice to learn more about farming and the struggles of farmers in this day and age. That is how I found Boerengroep online and I reached out to Louise to talk more about what they did. It was very welcoming and I was very enthusiastic and decided to come to the Boerengroep Break. There were very nice and enthusiastic people, talking about interesting and important topics. I became more active in September and after being a little more active for two months, I wanted to help out by taking the job of the secretary upon me.

What are you doing in Boerengroep? Can you give something secret away?

We have exciting times ahead. As Boerengroep has been active for over 50 years and a big reunion with all the wonderful people who have been carrying on the Boerengroep spirit, will be gathering. I am very excited to meet everyone and to hear about what made them embark on their journey and where their sails are set now.

When you are asked what you do on Tuesday nights, what do you say? (friends, family)

I’m sharing from the most delicious to sometimes surprising meals with a great bunch of people, to talk about where we find common ground and plan events and excursions.

If you could be any kind of farmer/animal/crop/garden tool/machine, what would you be?

A bean sprout.

What kind of food would you feed our board members during the meetings?

Surprising food. Come and find out.

What is the most inspiring thing you have done with the Boerengroep? (event, meeting, lecture, excursion…)

I would consider more that Boerengroep as the whole of it is inspiring to me, because of the diversity of platforms and of people with whom you interact.

If you had a private meeting with the Minister of Agriculture of your country, what would you ask/tell him/her? 

I would ask him how many farmers he knows and how often he visits them.

What is the most inspiring farm you have been to?

Difficult to name one. There has been many, but the ones that really grasped me, were those farms and farmers that were able to combine the characteristics of their natural environment with their agricultural practices, and especially the passion with which they can tell about this.

Do you have any podcast or reading recommendations?


On a scale of monoculture to polyculture, where would you place yourself?

A permaculture: one big, fruitful mess.