The ‘Wageningse Eng’

The Wageningse Eng throughout the years

Apart from beekeeping on ‘The Driest’ I am also involved in producing biologically certified cereals on the Wageningse Eng, an old agrarian landscape on the western slope of the Veluwe. The Eng is a moraine originated from what we now know as the ‘Gelderse Vallei’ during the penultimate ice age, the Saalien, 200,000 to 125,000 years ago, when a glacier penetrated the Gelderse Vallei and shaped the moraines of the Veluwe and the Utrechtse Heuelrug.

The Wageningse Eng in olden days.

The Eng has a top soil of some 30-50 cm depth, the result of centuries of use as farmland. The sandy subsoil, however, produces a rather infertile land, which is, at the same time, drought-prone. The exploitation of the Wageningse Eng probably started as early as the year 500. Originally, buckwheat and cereals, especially rye, were the main crops. From the 17th to the 19th century, part of the Eng has also been cropped with tobacco.

Harvesting using sickle and reaping hook.

The small plots are characteristic for the Wageningse Eng. Its intensive agrarian use throughout the centuries has kept the landscape open with long vistas and high accessibility. The small allotments and open lansdscape have made the Wageningse Eng one of the last remains of the extensive outfields at the southwestern border of the Veluwe.