Interview with a Boerengroep Board Member: Cristina Biddlecome-Cañaveral

After sharing Shumaila’s deepest thoughts with you last month, we are continuing to present the Boerengroep interns this month, and today we get to know Cristina Biddlecome-Cañaveral a little bit better! With her creative ideas and captivating writing, we are very lucky to have her in our team. Read below how she got struck by the Boerengroep charm!

Cristina in a little piece of paradise called the Ommuurde Tuin


What is your name?

Ana Cristina Biddlecome-Cañaveral

Where are you from?

I am from Virginia and southern Spain

Do you have a farming/theatre background?

Although my life revolves around agriculture these days, I have more of a theatre than farming background. I didn’t know what arable land meant until last year, but theatrics have always played a central role in my life. I try to make everything dramatic!

What do you study?

I study an MSc in Organic Agriculture and I promise that I know what arable land is now 😉

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

I found Boerengroep in a jazzy little pub called Onder de Linden last September, but I didn’t get involved until the farm experience internship (FEI) in the summer of 2020. Those were the days! My event calendar is also usually full of BG events because they are awe-inspiring and energizing (no bias as an intern).

And how long have you been active in the Boerengroep/Inspringtheater?

I was activated as an intern at Boerengroep on September 7th to be very specific

What are you doing in Boerengroep/Inspringtheater? (your function) Is it something on the agenda?

My primary role at Boerengroep is to connect the Farmers to the People through excursions, which is tricky during a global pandemic. However, alternative plans are in the making, so stay tuned!

Can you give us something secret away about the Boerengroep or Inspringtheater?

Boerengroep, and agroecology at large, are all about accessibility and transparency, so secrets are fundamentally not allowed within our value system

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

As part of my internship with Boerengroep I have been volunteering at a farm on Wednesdays, so I spend the rest of the day (and night) recovering physically from toiling on the land

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

I am personally a huge fan of the wheel barrow. It is sleek and functional, and never goes out of style.

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

Probably mixed nuts, or I would substitute food with bad jokes

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

As aforementioned, I like to be dramatic. However, I am not exaggerating when I say that the farm experience internship changed my life. I realized first-hand the amount of labor and planning that goes into food production, and I connected with myself and others in a way that can only be described as “groovy” – word choice adapted from Yanina Willet, head chef of the FEI.

If you had a private meeting with the Minister of Agriculture of your country, what would you ask/tell him/her? (Carola Schouten, Angela Merkel, Phil Hogan…etc)

“Where are the trees?”

Who is your hero? And why?

Paul Stamets because he wears a hat made out of mushrooms and knows how to save the world with fungus.

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

Diversity is power, so polycultures all the way (that being said, a field of only sunflowers does look beautiful).