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Nursery the Hazekamp

Meet Isabella van Daalen, who has been working in the field for 25 years. Together with her husband, she is the owner of Kwekerij de Hazekamp. Her favourite Alstroemeria is the Carline, named after her daughter. She prefers to see the Alstroemeria in a monobosition and in a bouquet of cut flowers the Alstroemeria can really get the stage it deserves.

Two people in greenhouse with LED lighting

Nursery the Hazekamp

  • 1.3 hectare
  • 8 types of Alstroemeria

How did you get into the field?

I grew up in a nursery family; my parents grew many types of field and greenhouse vegetables. When I was sixteen, I worked for a local rose grower for more than four years. I also worked for eight years as head of the AGF department in a supermarket. Here I gained a lot of experience in selling to consumers. It is great fun to have an influence on turnover, results and customer satisfaction. 

In addition, I did the HBO Marketing course via the LOI, which I completed in 2005. Shortly afterwards I met Gert and within a few months I was working in the Alstroemeria. That was very familiar to me, because the experience I had gained in the rose nursery came in handy here. After one and a half years I quit my job to work full-time in the company, which at the time was still a partnership between Gert and his parents. Since 2011, we have been a partnership together and Gert's parents have slowly stepped down.

What makes this field so special for you?

It offers plenty of room for challenges in many different areas. Think about cultivation, personnel, but also sales and assortment.

Can you describe your role and/or outline your involvement in the process?

Together with Gert, I am responsible for all aspects of the business; we do not have a manager or an assistant foreman. That means that we are in constant consultation between operations, day in, day out. We both know the main outlines of everything. Think about things like cultivation, crop protection, energy, assortment choices, sales, personnel matters and administration. But we both have our own tasks. My emphasis is on everything surrounding the processing of the flowers (determining sorting, supervising people and the bunching machine, final quality check and preparing the flowers for auction). I also take care of the administration and personnel matters. We always make decisions - big and small - together.

Which part of the process do you find most fun/challenging?

What I like best is making a beautiful, uniform batch of Alstroemeria ready for auction. It gives me a good feeling when, at the end of the day, carts full of flowers are on their way to the auctions and the consumers. 

What I find most challenging is making the right choices for new varieties. It is always exciting when new plants grow. Is everything going as expected or does adjustment have to be made?

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud that in 2016 we were allowed to name a new purple Alstroemeria Carline. It is a reference to our daughter Karlijn. Unfortunately, due to virus sensitivity, we can no longer grow it ourselves, but it is still one of the largest (in terms of acreage) purple Alstroemerias. And the beautiful memories remain: our daughter planting the first plant together with her father, and her presence at the first auction day when she and her brother handed out branches of Carline to the buying public at the Plantion flower auction. 

What has changed or had the greatest impact in recent years?

Last year we bought a new forestry machine from Havatec. A big change in the daily routine at our company. Previously, all Alstroemerias were bunched up by hand; now they are sorted and bunched mechanically. That saves on labour, but also ensures uniform sorting (cameras determine length and thickness). Better reliability is the result!

What does sustainable cultivation look like in your organisation?

We have invested in LED lighting and have chosen to hang our LED lighting as close as possible above the plant by means of a hoisting installation. This results in the highest possible light level for the plant with the lowest possible energy consumption. In addition, we try to use biological crop protection as much as possible.

What do you think the process of growing or breeding will look like in 10 years?

I think that growing under full LED will be the norm, the quality of the flowers will make a small step up (heavier) and there will be more preference in breeding for hybrid varieties (less susceptible to viruses) that are easier to grow safely organically.

What do you think makes the Alstroemeria so special?

An Alstroemeria is a powerful plant that delivers incredibly beautiful flowers for years, which customers also enjoy for longer than average. There is a wide range of colours available and they all deliver on their promise - a real party in the vase - something really happens!

There is a wide variety of colours available and they all deliver on their promise - a real party in the vase - something really happens!

What would you tell a florist about the Alstroemeria?

Do not be the florist who misses the beauty of the Alstroemeria! You cannot make it to sell a bouquet without an Alstroemeria, because you really add something to it in your bouquet.

What do you think most florists do not know about the Alstroemeria?

When harvested more ripe (more colourful), the flowers will have a more beautiful and intense colour during flowering.

What ambitions do you have for the Alstroemeria?

Change the positioning of Alstroemeria in such a way that we get the price that the product deserves. I am so often surprised that sometimes so much more is paid for other (not better quality) cut flowers. Why do people sometimes pay more than one euro for a chrysanthemum, lisianthus or rose? And the quality is often disappointing. How come our middle prices are lower?

Contact details Nursery the Hazekamp

kwekerijdehazekamp@planet.nl

+31 141 867 13 84

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