History - Website Van Os Freesia's

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History

The company

* Click on the photo for an enlargement.

The history of Van Os Freesia's goes back to the 19th century. On this photo (about 1900), Klaas van Os (on the ladder, great- great- grandfather of today's owners of Van Os Freesia's) cultivated fruit and vegetables, mainly grapes in a so-called 'wall-greenhouse' in Poeldijk. Wall-greenhouses where one of the first greenhouses, so the very beginning of the dutch horticulture. Later son Piet continued the family-company.

At the beginning of the previous century Piet van Os (at the right on the ladder, great grandfather), cultivated grapes and other fruits in Poeldijk. These greenhouses where specially designed for the cultivation of grapes and other fruits, and where the precursor of the modern greenhouse. Also son Nico (bottom left of the ladder, 1904-1972, grandfather today's owners of Van Os Freesia's) had to help in the company at an early age.

In the thirties of the previous century, Nico van Os started a new company in The Hague. On this 'farm' of about one acre he grew various kinds of flowers and vegetables. With the crisis before, during and after the second world war, the company went through difficult times. His sons Nico and Jan (1945, father of today's owners) continued the family business in The Hague. Mid seventies, Jan continued the company by himself.

Since the early years of the freesia cultivation in the Netherlands, the Van Os-family also cultivated freesias. On this photo (about1953), little Jan van Os is standing between the freesias in a so-called role-greenhouse on their company in The Hague. In the years after Jan van Os had (like most of the growers then) several other crops besides the freesias, but the freesia crop has always been the basis for the company. Since 1975, the company fully specialized in the cultivation of freesias.

Since the fifties many growers switched to the cultivation of freesias. The acreage of freesias increased rapidly. Because of the low crops, harvesting the fresias was hard work. Working conditions and production are greatly improved since those years because of new cultivation techniques and new varieties.

The company in The Hague has always been part of new developments in Dutch horticulture and specific developments in the freesia crop. These specific developments have led to the professionalization of freesia companies. Over the years the greenhouses, installations and machines were replaced many times, so the most modern techniques could be used for growing freesias.

An important development in freesia cultivation is soil cooling. At Van Os Freesia's soil cooling is installed since the eighties. Controlling the soil temperature is necessary to develop the freesia plant and create a balance between making flowers and making leaves. In the nineties, Van Os began to use artificial light during the winter months, so year-round good quality freesias was guaranteed. The quantity per m2 and the quality has greatly improved by these developments and has given the freesia crop a significant boost.

After completing the horticultural school, in the nineties son Arjan (1973, current owner) has joined the company. Arjan is (like his father) literally grown up between freesias.

The greenhouses and barn on the company in The Hague has been renewed early ninetees. The company was completely modern again.

In 2001 The Hague bought the company for housing. Since late 2001, Van Os Freesias is located at the Bospolder in Honselersdijk, a stone's throw from Holland Flower Auction. In 2001, 1,5 hectares of greenhouse was built with the latest techniques. Also a barn was built for the processing and preparation of bulbs. Click on the picture for more photos of the construction of the company

In 2003 another 1 hectare of greenhouse was built and also son Edwin (1979, current owner) joined the company after completing his studies in business administration at the University of Horticulture. In 2008 Van Os Freesia's bought a nearby company of 7000 m2, and adjusted it for the reproduction of freesia bulbs. Van Os Freesias, now more than 3 hectares, is still looking for developments to invest in improvements in labor, energy, environment, growing techniques, etc.

In short, the company has always been part of all the developments in Dutch horticulture. First burning coal for heating, later oil, now gas and a modern heat pump system. From the first 'wall-greenhouse', to the modern greenhouse of more than 5 meters high. The first electricity, pumps, irrigation, computers, etc. But also specific developments in the freesia crop. Van Os Freesia's has always followed and applied these developments. So, Van Os Freesia's is a company with a great history, but ready for the future!

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