Grower / producer
The parents of Frank Steegh started their business in 1961, also growing outdoor vegetables on the nursery at that time. The nursery has long since become specialised in tomatoes, it is now run by Frank and his wife, Marleen, and the next generation is ready to take over.
‘We’re just one big family here!”
The nursery now covers 4.9 ha. Sons Mark (21) and Tim (20) are taking on more and more responsibilities in the day-to-day management inside the glasshouses, while Frank himself concentrates increasingly on energy matters. “With our CHP engine we can supply energy back to the national grid, so that we do not waste any energy. We try anyway to work as sustainably as possible. To give one example, we control pests and diseases as much as we can with natural enemies so that we do not need to use any chemical control.”
Contact with consumers
And where taste is concerned, that is in good hands with Frank and Marleen. A small percentage of their product is sold in a roadside stall; an ideal way to occasionally have contact with consumers. “We get a lot of positive reactions from them. Sometimes we don’t see people for a while, or they are on holiday, but then they do come back again later, because they enjoy the taste so much. Especially in the first few weeks of the season there is always a lot of interest – when people are pleased they can buy Dutch product again!”
Although Mark and Tim are still working as paid employees at the moment, there is every chance that they will be taking over the nursery from their parents in due course. That was certain almost from the time they were small really, because they both loved tomatoes when they were kids. Frank: “We always had a box beside the grading line for outsize tomatoes and as soon as they were big enough they helped picking out the too large tomatoes. We are very happy to know that the nursery will be continued within the family. After all, that’s what you have been building it up for over all those years!”
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