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Historic fruit farming

Hoogstam fruitbomen met rondscharrelende varkens, Tiel ca. 1940

Time period: 1961-2009
Number of interviews: 28
Period of interviews: 2009

Maptour Oral history Historical fruit farming




number of stories: 27

In 2009, trained volunteers conducted extensive interviews with fruit farmers and farm workers in the river region (oral history). With the consent of the interviewees, the conversations were taped and typed out word for word, after which an easily readable story was written. The project is an activity of the Hoogstamfruit Centre and the Gelderland Foundation for Landscape Management (SLG). The aim of the project was to record the history of fruit cultivation, particularly of standard orchards, while it is still possible. The volunteers were guided by SLG.


Twenty-eight interviews were held with fruit growers and workers in fruit cultivation. The stories are about how things used to be in the standard orchard up until about the 1960s. They are about the place of the orchard in the farm, about seasonal work, about pruning, grafting, spraying the trees and about picking the fruit. The stories also give an overview of all the varieties grown in those days. They are personal stories about their own memories and experiences. Together with the photos that have been taken, the stories give a nice picture of how life in the fruit growing business used to be.


Many of the memories belong to the past. Over the past decades, the situation in fruit growing has changed dramatically. High-growing trees have been replaced by low-growing trees and bushes. The pesticides used have been banned and most of the old fruit varieties have disappeared. To stop the decline of the remaining standard orchards and to keep old varieties alive, the Steunpunt Hoogstamfruit was founded.

Van Hoenderik tot Heerepeer is about historical fruit cultivation in the river area and contains stories about daily life in and around orchards. The booklet contains 27 stories from interviews with farmers and farm workers from eight river region municipalities about the history of standard orchards. This has yielded stories about yellow Californian porridge, poverty and prosperity in fruit growing, mealy Notary apples, hard work in the four seasons and, of course, cherry picking. The project of which this booklet is the final result, was made possible thanks to the support of Steunpunt Hoogstamfruit and its member municipalities: Geldermalsen, Buren, Druten, Beuningen, West Maas and Waal, Zaltbommel, Culemborg and Maasdriel.

Verzameling oude gereedschappen