Den Helder: for those who have been around Tres Hombres since her early days, this name will ring more than one bell and recall many memories. It is a town in Noord Holland which faces the island of Texel and looks over the Wadden Zee, with its place in the maritime history of the Dutch navy and fleet.
This is where the headquarters are, in Willemsoord. Where Teerenstra is, the shipyard where Tres Hombres drydocks and gets refitted since 2008. Just on the other side of the canal from the shipyard, there is a green oasis called De Groene Stek, managed by Judith, a strong woman who would deny a smile to no one!
Judith has a great team who works with her in the garden, a team made by special people who would be let apart in society otherwise, people who are differently able but so often get described as disabled. They work setting goals which are tailor-made for everyone involved in the project, matching their personal needs and aiming for real improvements, mental and physical benefits, creating a safe place of acceptance where people otherwise rejected by society can learn new skills.
Through growing veggies and herbs, they grow themselves too! Gardening becomes therapy for them, probably the best and most effective, a way to stay socially connected letting Nature do the healing that is needed.
From there we take the veggies we need for the refits and for the beginning of the winter voyages for many years. We go there to harvest them ourselves, to chat with the people, to cut the apples that will dry in the oven and be served as snacks on board, and to spend some time in this urban oasis of organic agriculture.
Fairtransport and De Groene Stek are long-term friends, Judith has been supporting many cooks and provisioning the galley of Tres Hombres for a long time, during the refit as well as at sea.
And she is so stunningly generous that fresh veggies aren’t the only gift she provides! Let Eddie tell you more about it…
So we are coming to the end of the winter voyage. Reflecting on the time that has passed there is a very clear group that contributed to making the galley what it was.
Groenestek! You have been with us the whole way, and every person on board knows and is so grateful for your gifts. Thank you for your abundant generosity!
A short summary of what they gave
- Fresh vegetables: So many celeriac, squash, marrows. The final marrow got eaten on Day 135 somewhere between Boca Chica and Horta.
- Jam!! : SO much of the most delicious homemade jam that has been with us the whole way, we are literally only just finishing it now, and all with personalised labels. The crew loves it so much, super, super lekker!!
- Dried apples: Which the crew is still eating now as their nighttime snacks.
- Tea: Both Lemon Verbena, that they picked and dried themselves, and a selection of very nice bought teas too.
- Dried Herbs, Chilli and Garlic. Grown and dried themselves, so potent and delicious, especially loved the Italian Herb mix!
- Extra pots and pans – (I’m sorry but two of the lids went over the side in the North Atlantic!)
- Lavender oil that they made themselves: to heal all the handmade tattoos that the crew have done along the way. And to calm to cook when it all got a bit much!SO.. to reiterate, Thank you Groenestek you brought a lot of love and delicious flavour to the galley!