'Herbs from the Maasheggen in more and more regional products'

Tastemakers Janneke Bergholtz and Marloes Weerepas

In De Maasheggen, where nature shares its stories and the region preserves its history, we find the origins of Herbs of the Maasheggen. Here Janneke Bergholtz and Marloes Weerepas join forces and dedicate themselves to the biodiversity of and local involvement in De Maasheggen. This is made possible with the financial support of RNOB.

A mission that is flourishing in the form of delicious tea blends and other beautiful regional products made from herbs. Janneke: 'It's so incredibly nice that in addition to our tea, there are also beers, gin and even sandwiches being made with the Herbs from the Maasheggen. All of these involved producers are helping to achieve our goal and dream: restoring biodiversity and preserving native herbs. For us, tea became the means to achieve this goal. Marloes is a tea sommelier and I still had lunchroom the Meerstoel, which was right on The Maasheggen, when the idea started.'

Janneke and Marloes are in close contact with ecologist Peter and colleagues Margriet and Willemien.
For the project of 'A more herb-rich Maasheggen' the cooperation with Natuurbalans - the organization that Peter and colleagues belong to - is of great importance. "The harvesting process is something we know little about. Natuurbalans, together with the farmers and landowners, takes the lead in this. After several discussions with farmers and landowners in the region, they have now sown six plots. We can ensure that the preconditions are as good as possible, after which nature - with its own will - will show what beauty comes out of it."

Five different tea blends
Marloes: "Our selection currently includes five tea blends, each with its own unique character. Our Founder, for example, combines hawthorn, elderflower, and red clover for a smooth, floral and fresh-sweet taste. The Bee Beekeeper adds floral and fresh elements, while The Herbalist is a fruity, slightly sour choice. De Maasheggenvlecht contains wild thyme, making it a potent herbal tea. The Troubadour is a bold blend of hops, poppy, and white mint. This seems unusual, but offers a surprisingly delicious taste."

Together, Janneke and Marloes perfect their blends. This often takes several sessions. The two tea lovers taste until they are satisfied, getting help from their regular panel of enthusiastic tasters who provide valuable feedback. It helps them improve their blends.

Ambition goes further
Janneke and Marloes' ambition extends beyond tea. There is already an appointment with an inspired farmer to produce cheese. With not only the Herbs from Maasheggen, but also with milk from the cows that eat the residue of the same herbs.

Janneke: "That would be a wonderful circle, wouldn't it? In addition to cheese, we also think of Maasheggen kitchen herbs and dried flowers. Even perfume has already come up in one of our many brainstorming sessions. In a world full of change, our commitment to nature conservation from Maasheggen feels like a necessity.

Both ladies grew up in the area, and where they first took The Maasheggen for granted, that has now changed to an unprecedented respect. As a result, their connection to the area is stronger than ever. From this intrinsic motivation, they inspire local farmers, businesses and residents to break the monoculture and safeguard the rich heritage of the Maasheggen.

Available in online shop herbsvandemaasheggen.nl or through local restaurants and stores

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