Wherever you are or whoever you talk to on Texel: everybody knows about the Novalishoeve. “Their bread is soooo good”, “And what about their apple pie”, “And the ice cream, simply amazing”, “Have you tried their vegetables yet? I swear by them”. Everyone is abuzz about the taste and quality of the products from the organic dynamic farm Novalishoeve.
Respect for the life in the soil is the basis for all of the farm's activities. And there's a lot of them. Potatoes and grain are grown on 40 hectares of land. Dairy cows and a couple of pigs wander about grazing and there is a lovely vegetable and herb garden. Young and old alike, there is always something exciting to discover, taste or do around the farmyard where the chickens cluck around you.
The Novalishoeve provides training and jobs to those less suited to the traditional labour market and they process all the products themselves. They make cheese, ice cream and other dairy products as well as traditional sourdough bread and pastries. The dried herbal tea mixtures from the garden are particularly inviting. You can buy them and the fresh farm vegetables at the farm itself or in the local shops. But you'll probably also come across them in a restaurant or a shopping street elsewhere on the island.
Salinisation of farmland caused by climate change is not just a problem in the Wadden area but in river deltas around the world. In the Salt Farm Foundation's Zilte Smaaktuin researchers experiment with new salty cultivations as a possible solution. Various crops are cultivated on the Salt Farm Foundation's test fields. Weeds don't like salt so this is the perfect spot for 100% organic cultivation. The employees will be happy to show you around.
If you have the energy to bike or walk a little bit further you'll come to the area where salt-resistant plants, such as glasswort, lamb’s ear, sea kale and sea fennel grow.
Several fishmongers and restaurants sell or cook with these salty crops. Contrary to popular belief, not all of them actually taste salty. But the salt does work wonders as a flavour enhancer. For example, salty potatoes are boiled with a pinch of salt or seaweed to really bring out the rich creamy flavour.