- « Schiphol forces me to innovate. So if we approach agriculture in the broadest sense with food production, biomass and bio-plastics and the whole shebang, we might be recog-nized. The project proposes that Schiphol take a step towards the farmers as well. »Gert-Jan Petrie, farmer
As a hub of global connections, Schiphol generates employment and business. The downside is that the airport disrupts the landscape, causing noise and pollution. This pollution is absorbed by the leaf crops and bulb crops but not by tuber vegetables. In the Haarlemmermeer area around Schiphol, therefore, you can cultivate various types of potato to your heart’s content. How can farmers work more closely with Schiphol Airport and the companies based near it? And how can Schiphol Airport accommodate the farmers?
Potato Pilots is a design research project to propose fresh alternatives for the vicious circle of tradition and price pressure in which farmers in the Haarlemmermeer are now trapped. Henriette worked with the Airport Farm, an initiative that establishes new strategic connections between the produce of Haarlemmermeer farmers and the needs of companies near Schiphol. Potato Pilots gave the potato farmers a face and developed three icons for new applications for their crop. One of them is Potato Pils, a lager made with organic potatoes from Haarlemmermeer. Potato Pils is designed for businesses, caterers, farmers, municipality and province and was presented on the Holland Boulevard at Schiphol. Then there is the Potato Frietzak, traditional packaging for French fries made from reusable paper that functions as a vehicle for local knowledge and stories. The third icon is the Potato Printer that enables the Airport Farm to 3D-print potato products for the airport and surrounding area (e.g. airplane cutlery, beakers and office accessories), without the need for independent contractors. The farmers, their potatoes and the Airport Farm vision came to life in the exhibition [‘Op de Plaats Rust’] at Kunstfort Vijfhuizen.