In a new exhibition ‘Rotterdam de boer op!’ Natural History Museum takes the visitor to the surrounding countryside. It links the farmer’s land and our daily shopping. Visitors discover how richly diverse plants and animals are to be found around the city.
It is shown how farmers around Rotterdam are working in ways of agriculture and how much influence our society has on the environment. The exhibition sheds new light on everyday choices and inspires people to go out and farm themselves. The expo lasts until 25 September 2022. A coalition of 19 parties, committed to a landscape full of nature, food for the city, and a sustainable future, developed the expo in collaboration.
Niels de Zwarte, deputy director of the Natuurhistorisch Museum says: “This is a unique exhibition for us. Never before have we combined nature, food and people. City and countryside find each other, literally and figuratively, in the museum.”
Walk or bike in the countryside
The city is surrounded by a surprisingly large amount of farmland where food is produced and where specific animals and plants have their habitat. The exhibition focuses on the link between the natural farmer’s land around the corner and the food on our plates. Every region has – depending on the type of soil – its own specialization and products.
Natascha Hokke of Natuurmonumenten explains: “We live in one of the most urbanised areas of the Netherlands. And yet there is still farmland around the city. Farmland we desperately need. To eat, but also to take a lovely walk or bike in the countryside. To escape the hustle and bustle. You can spot rare meadow birds such as the black-tailed godwit, redshank and the haybird. These are species that desperately need our help. Rotterdam de Boer op! shows how to preserve biodiversity.”
Several farmers from the nearby countryside are part of the expo. Wiard Visser of De Buytenhof in Rhoon says: “The unique location, close to the big city but still in an oasis of peace, makes it worthwhile to farm in the Buijtenland van Rhoon. In addition to growing, producing and marketing crops, we find it a great challenge to work together with the locals. Farming with the power of nature pays off many times over. The benefits are countless. Healthy nature leads to healthy food.”