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SocialFARMS - Activities for Rural Management Services. A project co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.

The Naoberhoeve is a Bio-dynamic social farm. The name of the farm refers to an old social system of neighbours who help each-other. In our modern interpretation of ‘’Naobership’’we share the beauty, the space and the opportunities for development of the farm with people in need of care.

The Naoberhoeve is a cooperation of the farm Naoberhoeve and the Foundation Naoberhoeve. Gerlof and Maraike Pronk-Hein lead the farm, Jaap Gorter coordinate the Foundation; together with the employees they run the social farm Naoberhoeve.

  • Maraike, 1979, female, Warmonderhof (Bio-dynamic agriculture and care).
  • Gerlof, 1979, male, Warmonderhof (Bio-dynamic agriculture).
  • Jaap, 1961, male, Warmonderhof (Bio-dynamic agriculture) SPH (social work).
  • Address: Naoberhoeve, Pesserweg 4 7932 PC Echten (Drenthe).
  • Farm Area (in ha): 40 ha.
  • Since: 1998.
  • No of employees: 10.
  • No of participants: 25.

Website and social networks accounts:

Farm general description

The Naoberhoeve is a Bio-dynamic farm with 40 dairy cows, and a milk-processing atelier; we grow vegetables, herbs, and flowers, we have a shop and a big kitchen (where we bake our own bread and prepare meals) and we work in the woods around the farm.


People in need of care come to us during daytime, ‘’We work with each other, take care of each other and learn from each other’’. Outpatient counseling is also offered to parents regarding parenting assistance.


People work on the farm (with the cows, the chicken, with the vegetables), in the marketgarden (sowing, picking weed, harvest), in the milk-processing atelier (cleaning the bottles, making the products, filling the bottles), the shop (cleaning the shop, put the products in the shop, helping customers), the kitchen (baking bread, prepare soup, meals) or in the woods (chop trees and deliver firewood).


Milk, yoghurt, quark-cheese, butter, buttermilk, strawberry-yoghurt, strawberry-quark, vanilla-yoghurt, vanilla-quark, vanilla-custard, eggs, beef, meat of chicken, vegetables (1 ha. Fennel)herbs, flowers, fruits.

Gerlof and Maraike manage the daily activities and they run the farm; Jaap manages the foundation, does the paperwork about care, coaches the team, and has contact with the authorities.

Social Farm Tutor Role

The tutors work with the participants, and are responsible for 3 or 4 of them (is their personal counselor); they also are responsible for the care-plan (we call it Naoberplan) and the contact with parents.

Relationships with Social/Health Services

Many of our participants have a personal budget for their need of care: in that case, we make a contract directly with the participants or their representatives. For the other participants, Bezinn (organization of social farms in the North of the Netherlands) has the contact and the contracts.

Relationships with families

Some of our younger participants still live with their parents (they are all >18), and others live in a protected home. So we have either contact with the parents or with the home-social workers. At least once a year we evaluate the Naoberplan and if needed we contact each other more often.

Relationships with Social Agriculture Networks

We participate in both regional and national organizations of social farming.


The base of our image of man (the way we look at our participants and their development) is: “A human is only human in a relationship’’. We differentiate three relationships (the base of our Naoberplan); ‘’I and myself, I and the other, I and my work/world’’. Development is enlarging someone’s ‘’world of experience’’.

Development plan

We work in the direction of cooperation; the farmlands are already owned by a foundation. We want to connect more people with farm life and with their food.

Suggestions for managing a social farm

Do, together with the participants, jobs for the neighbours or your village. Work with people with different kind of problems, they can also help each other.