Bim lives in the first house in the eco-village in Ter Apel. “I would like to stay here for a long time.”

Logo van de Dagblad van het Noorden

The first house is ready in the eco-village Het Land van Aine in Ter Apel. It is inhabited by Pim de Cam who needs little to be happy.

The difference with Utrecht could hardly be greater. He was born in Doom City and lived for a very long time. Now Pim de Kam is the resident of the first house in the eco-village of Het Land van Aine, on the edge of Ter Apel.

areas of water treatment

Ecodorp is located on the site of the former Avebe potato flour factory. The hut stands where the factory’s water treatment fields used to be. It’s small, with a living room with kitchen and a bedroom, with a small balcony outside. This is it. That’s all I need,” says the 66-year-old de Cam.

He earned his living for many years at the Rijkswaterstaat and was involved, among other things, in the construction of the Oosterscheldekering. The Rijkswaterstaat office in Utrecht was his workshop, not far from his home. The hustle and bustle of the city usually surrounded him.

The rudder has been turned on

After his early retirement, he decided to change course. “Also because I saw how people interact with the world, how the climate is changing. I decided to live more sustainably.”

He first moved to Dalerpeel and one day read about the plan to create the first eco-village in the province of Groningen in Ter Apel. The initiative was taken by a few Groningen residents. They bought the factory site from private individuals and obtained permission from the municipality of Flagtweed, which had meanwhile been absorbed into Westerwolde, to initially build thirty houses there. Homes made from sustainable materials, of course. to fit and match the goal of the initiators; Live sustainably and as self-sufficiently as possible.

“I applied for it and liked it so much that I became a member of the cooperative set up by the initiators,” says de Cam. “I decided to live here, in a house.”

Help from fellow residents

He built it in a former factory warehouse, out of straw and other sustainable materials. He did not perform this work alone, but was assisted by other members of the co-op, often already living on the site, in caravans. Little by little, the house was formed, and on this sunny summer day, the house stands in the corner of a field where the water was once purified and then used in the factory.

These two mentioned rooms look very clean. Some artwork hanging on the walls, furniture, wood stove, wooden floor, table with some chairs, fridge with counter. No TV (“I haven’t watched it in years”). In a small hall there is a battery in a cupboard that runs on the solar panels and supplies them with energy.

Wonderful silence

A wonderful silence reigns in the house, and de Cam feels very satisfied. He does not suffer from loneliness. He talks about contact with other eco-village residents. “We have a common kitchen where we eat together every day. Different residents cook. I don’t, the cooking is not for me. I help with the dishes, so everyone has their job. We have common vegetable gardens from which we get a lot of what we eat. We stock up on other things.”

Keeping track of the accounts of the cooperative is one of his tasks. He does it on the computer on the desk in his room. “The cooperative already has dozens of members who contribute regularly, for example in the maintenance of the factory buildings and grounds.”

Helovit domain

His house, which will also soon be officially registered with the municipality, will not have exclusive rights in this area. A few tens of meters away, there is also a lot of building work currently going on. The walls of one of the houses are already there, and de Cam helps his companions, just as he helped him before.

In the foreseeable future, a helipad for domestic wastewater will also be constructed. Little by little, the land of Ain is taking shape, where some of the inhabitants are young and go to work every day and others are of advanced age. But where everyone takes care of themselves, and I would like to live in that village for a long time to come,” says Pim de Cam.

Rehabilitation of factory buildings

Suzanne Goslinga was one of the founders of the eco-village and lives in a house on wheels near the entrance. She says that the village is already developing well, more than 30 people have settled

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