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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international mushroom consultants. About living in Italy, the Veneto area near Venice; in Indonesia, central Java. Why we love the southeast of the United States and moved back from Italy. Our love for gardening, the botanical way. Sharing with you our manifold treasures from exotic places and even offering several at Spectrenoir: http://ebay.to/2xI69uc, for others to enjoy. As well as high end silver items from Giovanni Raspini, Italy. I also do classes and consulting... too much to list here! Love to bring back some romance and quality to the daily life of others... 

Friday, October 18, 2019

Husband Pieter's Design for the Campbell Mushroom Plants in Dublin, GA and Hillsboro, TX

Some of you might not even know the reason WHY we live in Dublin, Georgia/USA...
Guess it's about time to tell you about that!
Let's start back in The Netherlands, or as they mention here Holland...
Husband Pieter shown here with a mushroom drawing and the Dutch flag wrapped around.
Limburg International Magazine had a publication about him in August of 1983
Drs. Pieter Vedder, 
Vice-President of Camsco
 On Page 22, the article appeared.
By the way, Limburg is the Dutch Province where I am born and grew up!
Pieter is born in the above Province of Gelderland...
Drs Pieter Vedder
becomes a Vice-president at Camsco
Drs Pieter J.C. Vedder, 54 who has headed the Mushroom Growing Training Centre in Horst, North Limburg, since its foundation in 1963 (Pieter was the founder!), has been appointed Vice President for Training and Development of the Mushroom Division of Campbell Soup Corporation in Dublin, Georgia, USA with effect from August 1st, 1983. He will be in charge of the training centre, combined with a mushroom farm for instruction purposes, currently being built in Dublin for Camsco Mushroom Company Inc. by Veciap Holland, a consortium of three North Limburg companies (see Headlines in the Limburg International Magazine issue for April 1983).
"My role within the Campbell organization is a dual one," explains Pieter Vedder "On the one hand, I will be expected to be actively involved as a board member in present and future developments in the field of mushroom growing and, on the other, I am responsible for training company staff in this field."
Pieter Vedder ranks as one of the scientific pioneers of mushroom growing in the Netherlands which is now the fourth largest mushroom producer in the world after the United States, France and China.
Virtually all the Dutch growers received their initial and "in-service" training at the Training Centre in Horst (called the C.C.O. after its Dutch initials) which remained the only teaching unit of its kind in the world until the creation by Pieter Vedder in Dublin, Georgia of this second, 
almost identical, school.
There are over 500 mushroom growers in the United States but about half the total production is supplied by only three percent of the companies. The largest producer is Castle & Cook, 30 million kg per year, followed by Buttler County, Campbell Soup and Ralston Purina which each produce about 20 million kg.
Campbell's Mushroom Division now operates nine mushroom farms. The tenth, with an annual production capacity of 3 million kg is currently being built in Dublin as a turnkey project by Veciap Holland and will begin production in October.
"Within the Campbell organization, there is a high level of technical skill in mushroom growing." comments Pieter Vedder who has maintained extensive links with Camsco for a number of years and has previously arranged courses given to staff within the company. 
"Mushroom growing in the United States is generally characterized by constant levels of both production and quality. Yield per square meter and efficiency are both higher in the Netherlands but this is associated with general lower quality."
Pieter Vedder notes that the Campbell Soup Corporation - with its headquarters in Camden, New Jersey, over 100 production plants for foodstuffs and an annual turnover of three billion (Am.) dollars  primarily supplies the market for fresh vegetables and processes into soup those not sold on any given day. "In the Netherlands, much to my regret, the reverse now applies. About 70 percent of total mushroom production is bottled or canned and primarily exported to West Germany where the Dutch product has to compete against those from Asia and Eastern Europe. If the Netherlands had concentrated on the export of fresh produce to West Germany, the only competition to be dealt with would be that of France."
Pieter Vedder, who has been associated with every development in Dutch mushroom growing since 1956, is leaving at a significant point in time. "Up to now, Dutch mushroom growers have regarded each other as colleagues but I expect that within a few years - as a result of tensions arising from price trends and the major expansion of a small number of real businesses - they will end up confronting each other as competitors just as has happened in the United States. That could mean that a lot of knowledge and research no longer benefits everybody and also results in the loss of the friendly relationship between the growers." ~ Jan Derix

A drawing of the Campbell Soup Corporations mushroom farm in Dublin, Georgia currently being built as a turnkey project by Veciap Holland. The view shows, in sequence from the back towards the front, the compost hall, the tunnel complex and the growing cells. The packing plant is on the right. The construction of the total 16,000 m² plant will cost 17 million guilders.
The prefabricated elements and all of the technical equipment were produced in the Netherlands. The plant will begin production (3 million kg per year) in October and will soon be expended by the addition of a school, headed by Drs. Pieter Vedder, that will feature an instruction farm and a research department.
Husband Pieter's design for labeling the mushrooms...
Governor Joe Frank Harris speaks at Camsco dedication.
The industry employs 200 people and produces over 125,000 pounds of fresh mushrooms each week ― 85 percent of which are packaged fresh for the produce market and 15 percent of which are used in Campbell's Soup.
It was announced during Tuesday's ceremony that the local farm has been chosen as the site for a school to train personnel in the modern technology method of growing mushrooms.
Pieter Vedder, a Dutch citizen and world recognized expert on mushroom growing technology, heads the school.
The Laurens County facility was prefabricated in The Netherlands by Veciap and shipped and erected on site for a total $ 7.3 million investment. The current payroll for the operation is $ 2.5 million annually.
June 19, 1984 from the CEO of Campbell Soup: R. Gordon McGovern
Tuesday, June 12th, was really Pieter Vedder Day in Campbell Soup Company.
The Dublin, Georgia mushroom plant would not have been without your input.
We appreciate all the hard work and stress of putting such a project together and getting it started.
It was a fine day of dedication.
Thanks, again, for your major role.
Gordon McGovern
June 25, 1984 Dutch firm to build training center here
Camsco will use the new center to train personnel for employment in its existing and planned mushroom growing operations. The center will be modeled after the one located in Horst, The Netherlands, the only facility of its kind in the world.
The announcement said the Laurens County center will be managed by Pieter J.C. Vedder, vice president of Camsco Mushroom Co. 
Vedder managed the Horst operation for many years. He was its founder as well!
"Veciap Holland's expertise has resulted in a very fine facility for Georgia," Harris said in the announcement. "This complex is the only such facility in North America and represents high technology at its best."
On July 30, 1984 We're Proud To Be A Part Of Laurens County
We Employ 225 Employees
April 23, 1985 We employ 220 people...
1986 ― Camsco spent $ 5.6 million in Dudley area during year and had an average employment of 223.
1987 ― Campbell's spent $ 6.2 million in Dudley during the last fiscal year. The farm, which employs around 195 people...
Meanwhile in Hillsboro, Texas another Dutch technology mushroom plant got erected with Pieter's help in design and training for the start up.
Here you see the aluminum shelf-beds being erected.
They also form a connection with the roof.
Official opening of the Hillsboro, Texas farm was on October 7, 1987
-- "In the last ten years, mushroom growing has changed from an art to a science," says Pieter Vedder, Campbell's expert in mushroom technology.
The Hillsboro, Texas farm was really a state of the art farm!
I, myself finally got to visit this farm when Pieter did a seminar for Campbell's and I was joining him on Monday, December 06, 1993.
When Pieter got 'forced' to move to Pennsylvania, we both decided to move to Italy and work there instead.
This is what President Gordon McGovern wrote to husband Pieter:
Dear Pieter:
The announcement of your leaving for Italy could not pass by without my writing a note of thanks for your contribution to Campbell mushrooms.
You brought a world-renowned professionalism to our operations when they sorely needed expertise.
All of us here wish to express our appreciation and best wishes. We hope succeeding generations can live up to your standards.
This is a slide that Pieter often used for his seminars...
Sadly, when CEO Gordon McGovern was no longer in charge, they started to do away with this successful motto of the past; QUALITY...
On January 22, 1992 Pieter received a nice photo album of Campbell Soup Company's Mushroom Operations.
This is an aerial view of the Dublin mushroom farm
This is nine years after its start and they had gone from producing mushrooms for the fresh market, by hand harvesting high quality, to only mechanical harvesting for the canned food plants.
Husband Pieter also was involved in the design of the Dutch technology Hillsboro, Texas farm, opened on October 7, 1987.
The Hillsboro farm originally was also designed and set up for producing hand harvested quality mushrooms for the fresh market...
It was very sad that they went from first quality, closed and firm button mushrooms to open, lower quality soup and canned product. That way also they opened the door for cheap mushrooms from e.g. China. Sure, it saves on the payroll as harvesting is the biggest part of labor but mechanical harvest never can yield high quality...
Campbell Soup decided to sell off all produce plants; a sad day for many that lost their jobs.
Money's a Canadian company loved to purchase the Dublin and the Hillsboro plants but they were kind of forced by Campbell Soup to purchase ALL of their nine mushroom plants!
That did not work out in the end... A SAD day.
Both of us had pledged to be involved in starting up again for the new owner and to train the people.
Now the Dublin and Texas plants were again on the market. We had again vowed to some serious business people, wanting to purchase the Dublin and separately the Texas plant, to help them start up. But they did not get the full support from the local development authority. There seemed to be little interest in FIGHTING for maintaining this huge employment opportunity.
As a matter of fact, in 1983, when husband Pieter designed the Dublin plant, it was designed for doubling it! BUT the restriction at that time was, that size went above the cheap state loan... and their tax-exempt Industrial Revenue Bonds so they had to wait for 5 years! 
Without enough legal support from the local Chamber of Commerce and development authority, let alone from the Georgia Chamber, these two state of the art high tech mushroom plants got auctioned off in Delaware.
A sleazy business deal, for a fraction of the value and the buyer was ONLY interested in taking out his biggest competitor. There was a clausule built in that no one ever could grow mushrooms in these plants!
He cannibalized the plants for use at his own mushroom plants across the US...
A very SAD day for both of us! Even more so for our community...
The reason we ended up in Dublin, Georgia and now some 400 jobs out of the window and all the ripple effect of purchasing the wheat straw from all over Georgia, using the waste product of the sugar industry in Savannah, in a  great way of recycling. The transport etc. etc.

Both of us also MISS having access to the great spent mushroom compost for the garden...

Thanks for your visit back into history!

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Atlantic City Boardwalk, New Jersey

Fond memories of our trips with friends to the Atlantic City Boardwalk, New Jersey!
With husband Pieter on a sunny day in July of 1987...
There are 4 miles, 6 km of wooden board walk!
Fun feeding the pigeons!
To the right is Aron Kinrus, Pieter's colleague from Campbell Soup at that time.
Perfect outdoor day...
With Aron's wife Shyfra I'd been there previously, by bus from Wilmington, Delaware.
Never forget my FIRST attempt to swim in the Atlantic Ocean there.
Walking briskly into the ocean, together with some Russian ladies that were with us, I made a quick return to my beach towel. SO COLD in July! 
Guess I am spoiled by living in the South and being used to the warmth...
Here Pieter and I were standing in front of OCEAN ONE the mall built in the shape of a ship!
Ending a perfect Sunday with friends at the Golden Nugget restaurant in Atlantic City...
GOLDEN NUGET, Atlantic City, N.J.
In the previous year, I'd visited on my own together with Shyfra, while Pieter was several days away for Campbell Soup.
That was my FIRST ever encounter with a Casino...
A couple of days later, I did write about that experience in our local newspaper's section: OPINIONS
We met a retired FBI agent who was a columnist and writer, Bo Whaley was his name.
He became my 'Uncle Bo'...
Left column, bottom I wrote:
Any man (or woman) who pops chewing gum. Last week I spent a whole day in Atlantic City. On the boardwalk, in the ship-like built shopping mall called Ocean-One, there is a nice restaurant with a view of the beach and of course inside some of the famous casinos. Though I didn't play, I had more fun watching all the fanatic playing people. I'm not sure how it's related to gambling or to loosing or winning (but) it was a fact that the beautiful carpet looked alright in the alleyway, but along the automats it was covered with sticky grey spots, a flat remainder of chewing gum. How does it get there, I wondered, and I watched people win and lose their quarters and dollars, anxious to see when they drop it... It's still a big question mark. How human beings can behave... Nobody said hello or asked, "How are you doing?" I suppose I even could walk topless and still go unnoticed! Now after watching those dirty-handed (from all the coins) crowds, I was certainly glad to return back to Dublin... because I was leery of them!
The entire OPINIONS was a reply to "Uncle Bo's" column on his being leery of...
Oxford English has a different meaning for it as meaning "just"; knowing, sharp, smart, alert.
In American it means suspicious of.

Have any of you ever observed people at a casino, gambling?

Thanks for your visit and comment!

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco, CA 1st North American Mushroom Conference

September 23-25, 1979 the 1st North American Mushroom Conference was held at the San Francisco, CA Fairmont Hotel.
Husband Pieter did give his presentation about 'Shelf Plants' P.J.C. Vedder just click link for his publication.
At the time Pieter was still Principal of the Practical Training College for Mushroom Growing in The Netherlands.
Discussions after Pieter delivered his presentation.
A thank you letter from the American Mushroom Institute:
Dear Pieter:
Thank you very much Pieter, for participating in the program of the 1st North American Mushroom Conference. Your presentation was superb, and it was quite obvious we all benefitted from the experience. It was, indeed, our pleasure and very generous of you to help us make the conference the success that it was.
On behalf of the A.M.I. its Board of Directors, and the Conference Committee, I would like to extend  to you our sincere appreciation. I hope that your visit to the United States was enjoyable. We look forward to working with you again in the future.
Best regards.
Charles J. Ciarrocchi
Conference Chairman
P.S. Enclosed find our check covering travel expenses.

Charles J. Ciarrocchi was a long time mushroom friend, who was the President of Modern Mushroom Farms, Inc. which was founded in 1970. Now it is under Giorgio.
We have been to their farm at Toughkenamon in Pennsylvania.
Pieter was always in his element at such Conferences.
Here he is seen during a coffee break, cup in hand.
To his left is an unknown person, maybe someone could fill that in...
Pieter, Aron Kinrus a longtime Polish-American agronomist, Alex Overstijns who was one of the very first teachers at the practical Training College for Mushroom Growing in Horst, The Netherlands and to the right Paul Rutten a former student of Pieter, who immigrated to North America.
Aron Kinrus, Alex Overstijns, Shyfra Kinrus and Pieter with an unknown person standing behind them.
Husband Pieter to the left, Shyfra Kinrus, unknown person and Alex Overstijns.
Husband Pieter, unknown person, Alex Overstijns, Nick Pora who came from Romania with only $ 5.00 in his pocket and build quite a mushroom emporium in Canada, that we managed to visit in person. Aron Kinrus.

Fond memories of happy times spent with mushroom related friends!

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

French Lit-Clos/Dutch Bedstee/Box-bed or Closet-Bed all late medieval Western European Furniture

From my previous post about our visits to Netherlands Open Air Museum with Mom & Dad and American Colleague's Wife, I got an interesting comment
For that reason, I like to come back on the Dutch Bedstee again.
This is the photo that shows the Parlor from Hindeloopen in Friesland.
Notice the steps to the 'Bedstee' (cabinet bed)?
Also called Box-Bed or Closet Bed and in French Lit-Clos
Katie Isabella wrote: A cupboard bed. That is unusual I think outside of your Country?
No it actually was quite common all over Western Europe as late medieval furniture, also in Scandinavia, England, Austria, France and of course The Netherlands as pictured here above.
Rembrandthuis - Main Living and Bedroom with Fireplace and Curtained Box Bed (Photo P. Hunt 2012). This is the actual desk and bedroom from Rembrandt as captured at the Rembrandthuis Museum in Amsterdam!
When Pieter and I did visit the Netherlands Open Air Museum on our own, we were told some rather shocking facts.
Those Box-beds are rather short. One could argue that people some 600 years ago were shorter. True but the main reason was that people in those days slept almost 'seated' because of kidney problems mainly!
They all used wooden barrels for keeping their meat or bacon through the winter period, in layers of salt. So the sodium intake on average was extremely high during that time.
No wonder that seldom a high age was reached...
As a child I too remember Mom keeping the bacon in the cellar salted inside a wooden barrel.
So even post WWII that was still going on. Till in the 60s and 70s we had access to freezers, locally, where you could rent a compartment for storing the fresh meat and such and from the 70s every household had meanwhile a fridge and a freezer. 
But back in late medieval times, there was nothing else to keep meats fresh or to store other things.
Still remember as a girl that also ceramic pots, inside and outside glazed, used for making Sauerkraut.  The salted Sauerkraut got weighted and pressed down inside those crocks. 
Here you also see dried meats hanging from the ceiling, just to let them cure.
We also kept a Curing Cabinet for hams and other meats. 
That's how we used to survive... and of course eating eggs as they were available year long!

Please click for some interesting photos from: French Lit-Clos/Dutch Bedstee/Box-bed or Closet-Bed late medieval Western European Furniture on my Pinterest board.
It is quite interesting to go back in time for getting an idea of how our ancestors survived!
Thanks for your vist and comment.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Netherlands Open Air Museum with Mom & Dad and American Colleague's Wife

For a business trip to The Netherlands, with several of Pieter's colleagues from Campbell Soup, I also took care of the wife of his colleague.
We all went to the Dutch Mushroom Days on the day before and sealed it off with a dinner at the famous Turfhoeve, in Sevenum, The Netherlands.
Pieter's American 'boss' could not end the day and thus we landed in bed by 2:35 AM!
Again, rising early after a few hours and I dropped Pieter off at the Experimental Station where the excursion started (his boss remained in bed...).
Then, I continued with Mom & Dad and Mary-Jo, the wife of his Campbell Soup colleague from the USA.
We were going to visit the Open Air Museum in Arnhem, The Netherlands on May 30 of 1986...
Well, I'd been here before and this photo shows me in October of 1971, when we went with all colleagues from the Practical Training College for Mushroom Growing together as a day's outing!
On one of the old bridges, with a windmill in the back.
Wearing my own sewing creation, dress made from a Burda pattern in a rayon fabric.
Standing on a Double Drawbridge, you will see later in more detail.
Two of my colleagues and me on the right...
Beautiful home and windmill from the Zaan region, North Holland in the back behind the canal.
Husband Pieter made this photo for his photo club, before we immigrated.
Open Air Museum Arnhem had homes from centuries old from most Provinces.
Some of the very special Dutch gavel homes from the Zaan region, North Holland...
Don't really know what this is...
Probably Willy from De tante van Tjorven would know!
And this... It might have to do something with Suriname, Curaçao or other Dutch Caribbean Island or any of the former Indonesian colonial buildings.
Typical Dutch Double Drawbridge from the Zaan region as we have so many over the canals...
Thatched roof homes and a water well in front.
This Open Air Museum is so realistic, all the way! This is a typical Dutch landscape with its black and white cows.
One could stroll around for hours... and probably for days!
Yes, complete with authentic gardens!
Interior with tiled walls...
The following are from slides by G. J. Derksen who also published books about Open Air Museum Arnhem.
It is the Living Room Farmhouse from Budel, North Brabant.
Interior Farmhouse from Staphorst, Overijssel
Interior Farmhouse from Zeijen, Drenthe
Parlor from Hindeloopen in Friesland
Notice the steps to the 'Bedstee' (cabinet bed)?
Also called Box-Bed or Closet-Bed (cupboard bed) and in French Lit-Clos...
Kitchen Farmhouse from Midlum in Friesland
Parlor Farmhouse from Midlum in Friesland
Two Mills from Huizen and Delft in North Holland, picture by F. van Heetkamp
Drainage Mill from Noordlaren in Groningen by F. van de Heetkamp
Sheepcote from Daarle, Overijsel by F. van de Heetkamp
Veluwse Farmhouse from Vierhouten, Gelderland by F. van de Heetkamp
Husband Pieter is born in such a 17th Century home!
Sadly it got destroyed during WWII...
Above photo is also from the Province where Pieter is born!
Interior Fisherman's Cottage from Marken, North Holland by G. J. Derksen
Fisherman's Cottage from Marken, North Holland by F. van de Heetkamp
With Mom & Dad and our American guest we drove back via a bakery in Wanssum for some typical Limburgse 'vlaai' a special pie.
Back home at Mom & Dad's place also Pieter joined us for a farewell coffee with pie...
Mom & Dad enjoyed the American lady and they had so much in common, same size family and same religion.
It was a special day for ALL!

Thank you for your visit and comment

Related link:
{My Teacher, Mentor, BOSS & Husband over 44+ Years} | previous post by me where you can see my 1st photo...
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