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Visiting Diderik Claerbout of the Woudezel.

Diderik van de Woudezel in Houthulst (not so far from Diksmuide) is of course no stranger but one of those super passionate food forest pioneers. He started in 2008 with a number of other “freebooters” at least that’s what he calls himself. The neighborhood was then still very hostile to this “rebel” gang. The tension was sometimes literally or figuratively to be cut but in the meantime, tempers have calmed somewhat.

An egret, meanwhile, comes peeping. ‘This place is part of a bigger picture, Diderik says. Near here is a nature reserve with large ponds. I took that into account in my own design. Because there are so many puddles and ponds there that’s why I decided not to do that at my place.
You can feel the place buzzing with life. The quinces that our 84-year-old photographer Paul hasn’t seen since childhood are hanging to show off. From home grown rowan berries, chokeberry, honeyberry, … the list of “Wanahaves” is endless.

Diderik recently made the move to live entirely 100% from the Woudezel. Diversify is the message. The “kitchen” is under construction, workshops, the nursery,…. everything fits into the same vision of teaching people to be self-reliant and get back in touch with nature. Where else have we learned that?

We were treated to a delicious dessert at the end of the day that everyone could lick. The raspberry juice was delicious and meanwhile we also enjoyed the quince juice. I already know what’s on the Smuljungle wish list.

Food Forest De Woudezel is not a store you can just drop by. Diderik also only has a facebook so it is best to ask for the catalog through this link and then order. Lots of tasting pleasure.

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