In 2010 Wapke Feenstra explored the Limburg landscape by following the movements of land-based products.
28 APRIL- BORGLOON - NEW TREES
It took the frost longer than usual to disappear this year. "Everything is late!" And it was too dry in early April. But next weekend's forecast says it will rain, says Koen Martens. Today he’s planting, securing and pruning the last Belgica apple trees. It seems cruel to top newly planted trees straightaway, but Koen explains that this will conserve the strength of the tree for the new roots. It gives these young trees the best chance of survival. But they will still have a hard time, because all lot of fruit diseases come over from the adjacent old orchard. Belgian blue cattle graze around the standard trees there, eating away at everything within reach. "That's all the maintenance the owners do", Koen says, shrugging. "It just invites pests."
28 APRIL- BORGLOON - SMALL PROBLEMS
Only now is the blossom in full bloom! Saddle-sore tourists step off their bikes and admire the splendour. The apple farmer has other concerns. There was a few hours of frost earlier this week, from five till seven in the morning. That's why he’s checking out the blossom. Discoloured stamen are an indication of problems. Damage will lead to a poor harvest or misshapen apples. The Jonagold grow on lower ground and have suffered more damage than the Belgica on the top of the hill. Still, Koen Martens is not unhappy; a farmer nearby had six hours of night frost, which is fatal for a fruit crop. Then the next threat arrives: a tiny caterpillar. "It will mutate into a codling moth", he knows. As there are still relatively few, he decides to apply pheromone confusion. He will spray an excess of artificially produced female scent to disorientate the males.