Growth Funding for our Organic Farm and Shop.

Growth Funding for our Organic Farm and Shop.

We are two gay guys in our 60s who have just started a bio-farm near Hoeselt in Belgium. After 15 years of growth, we've moved our business from North-Holland to Flanders so that we can have more space to work and can farm organically.

We initially had an agreement to rent a farm in the Ardennes, but it fell through at the last moment leaving us 8 months behind and with a huge hole in our finances! So now we have invested everything we have left to get a new farm up and running at the medieval 'Kluis van Vrijhern', near to Tongeren in Belgium.

We are struggling to expand our business using the modest income we are currently generating, and are facing the demand to pay Belgian state taxes in advance. So to make our business survive and grow we will need YOUR help.

Below you can read about our plans for the future, and consider whether you can support us with a donation, etc. If you have questions that we didn't answer below, then please contact us directly so we can make this outline fully comprehensive.


What We Do

Hogelandshoeve is an ethical business focused on bio-farming, local produce (low food-miles), recycling and sustainability.

There are a number of strands to the business:

Our bio farm-shop is where we sell our herbs, home-made confitures, jams and chutnies as well as various local products from other small businesses nearby (honey, salad dressings, etc.). We make products which are also ideal for vegans and vegetarians. And they taste great!  All our main ingredients are grown and/or produced within 5 km of our farm.

Our farm produces culinary herbs and salad leaves which we sell (along with our preserves) on local (famers' and weekly-) markets and through selected shops. We have some land to grow plants and a greenhouse where we can propagate plants to sell, but need to invest to increase productivity.

We provide a range of creative workshops where you can come and make floristry and craft projects under expert tuition in a supportive environment.

We have a large gallery filled with vintage and antique (glass and ceramic) collectables. These items are still valued and usable, and of course they are recycled!


Our Values

Supporting Genetic Diversity and Heritage Varieties

The area around Hoeselt is the 'orchard of Belgium', but many commercial growers have now converted to 'short stem' varieties. Fortunately a long campaign has ensured that heritage varieties have been widely re-planted in local private gardens and pastures, and therefore we can easily source unusual varieties with unique flavours and characteristics. Many of the donated crops that we harvest and use as ingredients would otherwise be left unpicked. When possible, we also offer this whole fruit on our market stall. Unsold fruit is converted into confitures and chutnies. We believe that responsible use of local resources brings advantages for the sustainability of the local economy and encourages others to maximise the value of their gardens, pastures, forests and hedgerows as well as guarantee the survival of our historic fruit varieties..

Artisanal Production and Manual Work

All our products are made entirely by hand. We are also meeting with local organisations who have asked about work placements for disabled and handicapped people, and hope that our farm will be able to provide the right environment to give them a chance to contribute more fully. 

Bio-labelling and Certification

Our new farm in Hoeselt was first established in 2019. We intend to apply for bio-certification as soon as possible, but this is a somewhat lengthy (and costly) process and will need more financial investment then our fledgling business can manage. In the meantime we do NOT label our products as 'Bio' or 'Organic', even though the land has not previously been farmed, and all our recipes are sourced and made according to strict organic rules.


Growing Pains

We have customers for more plants, but need to plough the ground, build more rainwater storage (or bore into the groundwater), and install polytunnels. etc.
We are getting strong interest from retailers but would need to produce and pay for the stock they need.
The Belgian government is demanding advance payment of sales tax for the next 6 months.

Can you help us? Can we help you?

We have never owed anyone money and don't want to be the victim of a high-interest lender, neither can we predict when our cash-flow will allow us to repay a loan.

We believe that bio-farming (in combination with our other business strands) can provide the base for a sustainable business, but are worried that it will not grow quickly enough to meet the bills.

We have products to sell, but need to expand both production and sales.

We could develop a plan to increase our income from tourism and possibly offer facilities for camping, but it would require investment.


If you'd like to establish a garden full of herbs, we can help you.

If you'd like to visit us to see the farm, test our products, try our herbal teas with a warm homemade scone, or even help with the digging, you'll be made very welcome! We love to give guided tours to anyone who is interested, and are happy to share our knowledge and experience.

We are lining up projects and workshops for the coming months and if you want an activity for team-building, celebration or recreation, we can help make it special!

However our last savings are now disappearing from the bank…

Can YOU help? Every small amount will help us to keep going!
If you can’t afford financial support then please SHARE this message!

Donations

  • Anonymous 
    • €100 
    • 7 mos
  • José Ekelmans 
    • €10 
    • 7 mos
  • Peter Grohlich 
    • €50 
    • 7 mos
  • Frédéric WINKIN 
    • €10 
    • 7 mos

Organizer

Jay McLellan 
Organizer
Hoeselt Sint-Huibrechts-Hern, VLG, Belgium
  • #1 fundraising platform

    People have raised more money on GoFundMe than anywhere else. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case that something isn’t right, we will refund your donation. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more