Frank de Koning

Frank de Koning

Hi, my name is Frank de Koning and I grow organic and biodynamic (Demeter) tomatoes, peppers, aubergines and bok choy under the transparency system of Nature & More. Wild Wonder tomatoes are my specialty. Thank you for buying my vegetables! 

I own three greenhouses in Tinte, a small town in the south-west part of the Netherlands, close to the famous Delta project. This huge construction was built to protect the south-west part of the Netherlands from the sea, since we live below sea level here. In 1989, I started growing conventional vine cucumbers and tomatoes. However I realized that conventional production on rock wool did not give me the quality I was looking for. Changing to organic cultivation was therefore a natural choice. I specialize in growing unusual and heirloom varieties of tomatoes which we call “Wild Wonders”. It’s a mix of varieties from all over the world. They’re a big hit and a great way to bring the idea of biodiversity to peoples attention. All my produce is packed in compostable materials from renewable sources!

The marketing of my products takes place via Nautilus Organic.

 

Interview with Frank de Koning

N&M: Can you tell us something about switching to organic methods?
Frank: In the beginning it was hard to achieve a successful result. It took much longer than we anticipated before we could achieve a balanced ecosystem in the soil as well as in the greenhouse. You can imagine that the production results were disappointing in the first year and we lost a lot of money. But now we achieved this balance which is essential to make the plants and the soil stronger and more resistant. It is more enjoyable to grow on real soil instead of rock wool and not to rely on chemical products.

N&M: And how are your results now?
Frank: We are doing great. We managed to get healthy plants for four years in a row. As a result the yield is high and the tomatoes are nice in shape and have an excellent flavor. We also had good results with growing tasty peppers last year. At the moment we are growing 7 different varieties of peppers and 20 different varieties of tomatoes. They all have their particular color, shape and taste.

N&M: Why did you start with the Wild Wonders project?
Frank: After originating in South America, tomatoes spread throughout the world. You can imagine that the tomatoes in Siberia or in Asia are very different from the tomatoes here. But in the supermarket you always see the same varieties. Back in 2003, we selected 58 different varieties from all over the world. Eventually we chose ten of the smaller varieties and that’s how “Wild Wonders started!

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