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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international mushroom consultants. MEMOIRS about husband Pieter Vedder, who was a SCIENTIFIC PIONEER in Mushroom Cultivation Education. His practical handbook is in 8 languages and is called the MUSHROOM BIBLE: https://mariettesbacktobasics.blogspot.com/2020/08/modern-mushroom-growing-2020-harvesting.html

Saturday, March 16, 2019

1982 Sinden Award for Pieter at The Hotel Majestic, Harrogate, England

Yes, in 1982, husband Pieter became the very first non-British, to receive the prestigious Sinden Award at the Mushroom Industry Conference in The Majestic Hotel, Harrogate in England.
The Sinden Award...
This very Waterford Crystal Decanter was engraved with the words SINDEN AWARD 1982 and presented as a gift to Pieter
Here the engraved words SINDEN AWARD 1982 are reflecting in the silver tray...
Finally a sunny day for making these photos on March 6...
Harrogate 1982
Banquet Programme
Grace will be said by Mr. J. H. Green
Proposed by Mr. H. J. Linfield 
Chairman of the Mushroom Growers' Association
(those that are not familiar with this British ritual, a toast to the Queen is always made during a special event).
Proposed by Mr. H. J. Linfield 
Chairman of the Mushroom Growers' Association
(another formal ritual where each name is being called off and that person walks in...)
To blogger friend Rosemary a question: What is the staff called, to knock on the floor with, before calling the persons names?
Guest Speaker
Mr. Brian Wash, Q.C.

Whitby Crab and Salmon Mousse
Savoury Yorkshire Pudding with Onion Gravy
Wansford Steak and fresh vegetables
Wharfedale Orange Tart
Wensleydale Cheese & biscuits
Coffee and mints
Pieter gave his Sinden Award speech:
Mr. Chairman, ladies and gents.
It is a great honor I realize, and I am very grateful to all of you, especially the nominating committee, for getting this Sinden Award.
It will be now approximately 25 years ago, I suppose, that I visited the U.K. for the first time.
I was working in the Extension Service as the brand new assistant of what I can now name as my mushroom parents; Pieter Bels and his wife Henriette Bels-Koning.
I remember very well that we visited the Noble-Atkins farm, with wooden shelf beds, gleaming from the Cresylic Acid, or Baker and Jones, using trays with a loose, separate bottom. We visited Barton who just started in a few handicraft houses and also Linfield, especially to see how a big, mechanized composting yard was designed and how an automatic composter works. We also had a look at Peter Stanley-Evans' farm. He showed us his nice chrysanthemums first and later the mushrooms. He grew them in soldier cribs, in army beds, so in fact he is the first real bed grower.
Later, many times a number of you gave us hospitality and opened your farms for my Dutch students. 
In my lecture, on Thursday, I have already said that we in The Netherlands realize very well that we also learned from our colleagues abroad, not the least from the U.K. growers as well. So the first instigation for this Award is given by yourself.
My job is, as you know, gathering practical experience and knowledge, translating that into useful growers language and then selling the message.
So, if I was in the position to do something for the Mushroom Industry than it was because of a number of people, growers as well as colleagues, supporting me with their experience and the results of their research. I like to accept this Award therefore, not as Pieter Vedder as a person, but as a representative of a country.
I think, this Award is a mark of nearly 25 years of good cooperation and even friendship between the mushroom growers in two countries. I hope from both sides we are in the position to continue that fellowship and friendship, because 'You can't have too much of a good thing'.
(The English' well-known slogan to promote mushrooms...)
Thank you very, very much!
 The Sinden Award 1982
Pieter Vedder
In recognition of his outstanding
contributions to the
Mushroom Industry
for many years both in the
International field and on behalf of
British Growers who have made this
His book
'Modern Mushroom Growing'
has found a place on every progressive
grower's desk.
His mushroom courses at Horst
have a worldwide reputation and
have helped innumerable growers,
young and not so young, from many countries.
In addition, his advice is always
available to anyone who asks and
is always cogent.
Mushroom Growers' Association
The Best Conference for Many Years...
Excerpt from the above page: The afternoon session started with Mr. Pieter Vedder of Horst -- the 1982 Sinden Award Winner -- giving his Sinden Award lecture 'Our Formula to be Competitive in the Mushroom Business'. Just click the link for viewing Pieter's lecture!
One has come to expect over the years a very high standard from Pieter and his audience were not disappointed.
Working for the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries at the time was not easy as you had almost no freedom.
In June, husband Pieter had already written his boss, the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries for allowing him to travel to England...
This is the reply from July 5, 1982
In response to your above-mentioned writing, I notify you that on my behalf I do not encounter any objections if your board allows you to receive the award personally.
As for the exact period of your absence, I will be pleased for being informed in time.
I have also taken note that the costs associated with attending the conference are borne by the Mushroom Growers Association.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to compliment you on this Honorable Award.
The Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries
For this, the Director of agricultural education, Dr. Ir. P.K. Schenk

Director P. Vedder of the education center for mushroom cultivation in Horst, The Netherlands has been decorated with the high English distinction of the Sinden Award. This award is awarded since 1975 to a person who has made himself meritorious in the mushroom cultivation. Vedder from Horst, The Netherlands, is the first foreigner to whom this recognition was awarded. Congratulations.
Published in the local Echo on Friday, October 15, 1982

High Foreign Award
Mr. P. Vedder, director of the Centre for Mushroom Cultivation Education, Westerholtstraat in Horst, The Netherlands, was presented the Sinden Award at the annual congress of the Mushroom Growers' Association in England.
This award was set up in 1975 by the English Mushroom Growers' Association and is awarded annually to a person who made himself meritorious in the mushroom cultivation. This award was first  presented to Dr. Sinden, who was the most important international figure in the mushroom world in the eyes of the English growers. The award is also named after him.
Mr. P. Vedder is the first foreigner to qualify for this award. The annual congress of the Mushroom Growers' Association in England was held in Harrogate this year. On Thursday, October 7, Mr Vedder held a lecture on this subject: "Our Formula to be Competitive in the the Mushroom Business".
On the closing day of the Congress, on October 9, the award was presented. He received the award for his entire work for the Education in Mushroom Cultivation. Specifically 3 points were emphasized:
a. His book "Modern Mushroom Growing" no mushroom grower in the world is without it. (It is even translated into Polish).
b. The Centre for Mushroom Cultivation Education in Horst organises annually two important courses for the growers in English.
c. Mr Vedder's willingness to always be available with practical advice for the grower.
This year Mr Vedder is also involved in mushroom cultivation for 25 years. He was a researcher at the Experimental Station for the Mushroom Culture in 1957. In 1961, the first Dutch edition of his famous book "Modern Mushroom Cultivation" appeared. In 1963, he was instructed to set up education for the mushroom growers. In 1964, the first courses were given and in 1969, the school started in its own building on the Westerholtstraat.
The same story got picked up by other News Papers as well...
An old fashioned telegram from Indonesia, from Mr. Soetantyo from Mantrust, Jakarta for whom we later worked... We knew him already for a number of years through the World Bank.
Numerous cards and congrats poured in for Pieter.
Just have to add that my dear husband Pieter has always been a down to earth person, approachable for everyone and he always helped out.
He never used his title as his motto always has been: "I hope they respect me for what I am and not because of my title"! 
His very humble upbringing during the depression years and WWII made him appreciate so much more the true values of life.
He never accepted any bribes for promoting a certain product and thus he never accumulated great wealth.
What most counts is the worldwide friendships that last a lifetime!
Too bad that on his special day of recognition, he was all by himself... his ex-wife Thea never had a real interest in his work and was not eager to join him. She never kept a scrapbook for him or whatsoever. Her interests were only for her hobbies and tennis, she never worked a single day.
I no doubt would have felt honored to stand by him during this ceremony!
It was only four months later that Pieter and I embarked on our life's journey together as we found TRUE LOVE!
We both treasure our INTERNAL WEALTH of worldwide friendships and many fond memories!
That is what life is all about, for helping others to achieve a better life and for creating fond memories to look back on towards the end of your life...


  1. Hello Mariette and Pieter, A late congratulations to Pieter on winning this important award. I was impressed that they chose such an elegant and useful decanter as the award itself, but then when I saw the award plaque itself I fell in love with its mycelium border. I would like to steal this design to use in the decorative arts somehow--perhaps on a bookplate or wallpaper design, or carved into wood or metal, or simply as used here, as a printing border. I used to be a letterpress printer, and we had floral borders, but never a mycelium one!
    p.s. I don't know if your recall my post on "Greek Key" meander borders, but this design is every bit as good-looking.

    1. Dearest Jim,
      Thank you for the congratulations, Pieter just read your comment together with me.
      The mycelium edging is indeed a perfect design for his award. You are more than welcome to use the mycelium in any form you wish. Went back again to your Greek Key meander borders post and did recall that.
      Mycelium border also looks a bit like coral without the red.

  2. Liebe Mariette,

    ich freue mich über deinen schönen Post.

    Alles Liebe

    1. Liebe Elisabeth,
      Es ist wichtige Geschichte...
      Liebe Grüße,

  3. Well done to Pieter - Waterford are wonderful makers of fine makers of crystal, that is a great award to have received.

    1. Dearest Rosemary,
      Thank you, also from Pieter!
      Waterford indeed was a lovely gift and even more so presented at a time that it still was made in the U.K.
      Although I had hoped you could have answered the question I'd written to you, below the Banquet card's info...

  4. Replies
    1. Dearest Anne,
      Thank you, these were the highlight for Pieter's career!

  5. Sorry Mariette I missed that - they known as the Master of Ceremonies.

    1. Yes, Rosemary we both know that too but what is that wooden staff called, that they knock on the floor with before calling the person's name.

    2. In my opinion a gavel is never used for knocking on the floor...

  6. Congratulations to Pieter for all his great achievements, though it is very late.
    I always love the journey of mushroom farming you share.

    1. Dearest Krishna,
      Thank you and it only is a great way for looking back on at the end of life.
      It never has been called mushroom farming but mushroom growing as no agricultural land is involved.
      You neither call Penicillium 'farming', for the production of Penicillin. Just like mushrooms ,they too are part of the Fungi family.

  7. Glad to read your post.....great memories.
    have a nice day

    1. Dear Tanza,
      Thank you and they sure are great memories!
      Wishing you a nice day as well.

  8. What a special award your husband Pieter received! The decanter is so elegant and beautiful. His speech is wonderful. The part he said about accepting the award not as himself but as a representative of a country shows his humbleness. I know people respect him for what he is and not for his title. And you are so wonderful to keep all these records for him! They are all great memories for both of you. Thank you for sharing them with us :-)

    1. Dearest Tamago,
      Yes, this truly has been the highlight of his entire career.
      Being humble goes a long way and we both still enjoy many friendships world wide.
      So glad for having started to work this into stories to relive...

  9. A beautiful decanter and a great honour for your husband to receive this award.
    Congratulations to Pieter.

    1. Dearest Sami,
      Thank you very much, also from Pieter, and it sure was the highest honor. The decanter is a perfect memory of that honorable day,

  10. What a great tribute and honor, Marietta! I also love the hotel decor.

    1. Dearest Debbie,
      Thank you and it sure was a great moment in Pieter's life.
      Would love to see that hotel myself in person it truly looks Majestic!


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