For us, it's just a working area where we enjoy working and living. I know the area like the back of my hand. I know all the trees, manage many hedges myself.

Tonnie Ebben

Tonnie Ebben of Groeningen is a potato grower and owner of museum "From Stamp to Tank.

Tonnie Ebben is a familiar face to many in the area. Not only has his family been running an agricultural farm in potatoes for generations with lots of activity in the yard and in the area around Groeningen. For a few years now, people have also been walking in Tonnie's door on weekends visiting his self-started museum "From Stamp to Tank. As an entry point, an imposing one-man bunker stands in his front yard. With great curiosity we visited his unique collection in Groeningen.

What does the area mean to you?

Tonnie grew up in the area. "I've lived here for 45 years. Generations have gone before me here in Groeningen. The area has a very rich history that should be preserved. My museum contributes to that. As a potato grower, you come across all kinds of things while working in the fields. I collect a lot from the Second World War but in the field we encounter all eras. From prehistory, to now". His interest in historical finds began at an early age. One of his first finds were the remains of a mortar. When he proudly presented it to his grandfather, he got his ass kicked. Through time, Tonnie has made so many valuable finds that the start of a museum was not unexpected. In the barn next to his house he started displaying his showpieces. By 2012, he was ready to expand. "Most of the finds come from the region. That is important to me. Our village was occupied and liberated about 5 times during World War II. It must have been a huge battlefield here. All the finds in the museum make this visible and tangible."

What is your favorite place in the Maasheggen?

"I'm always there, I work there every day. We're in the middle of the area. Honestly, I don't quite understand what people think is special about it. For us, it's just a working area where we enjoy working and living. I know the area like the back of my hand. I know all the trees, manage many hedges myself. There are 11 kilometers of hedges on our land. We own 55 hectares of land in the area."

What could be better in the area?

"There are so many different parties active in the area working on the landscape and the hedgerows. That often makes it far too complicated. Also, the hedges are pruned in all sorts of different ways. Pruning mistakes are made and it just doesn't look pretty. Let us do it. We know exactly how to do it. Local knowledge and expertise among farmers and landowners is insufficiently utilized, because it's just part of your business, for generations. This is very unfortunate because many farmers have lost confidence in cooperation as a result and feel passed over. There are many expensive agencies and bodies active in the area that want to digitally preserve and maintain the area, which costs tons of money and that is not necessary."

Weather about the "From Stamp to Tank" museum can be found at

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