Aldert van Weeren

Cattail Farmer
Wetland Products

Aldert is a landscaper, working on eco-tourism in a 300 year old heritage-house in the the Eifel, a low mountain range in western Germany and eastern Belgium. 

Since restoring a new object intended for eco-travel as a base in Griefswald, in the Northeastern area of Germany, located in the middle of a large rewetted peatland nature reserve, he noticed that cattail has been used for building and insulation for many years.

Wanting to use this local and bio-based local material, Aldert found out that it is in fact not available on the market.

This resulted in him organizing a group of people and gathering cattail from nearby fields for harvesting and production.

The ecotourism project will  be built up as a pilot project where used “peatland-renewable” building materials can be seen in the construction in the coming future.

With the support of the Mecklenburg Vorpommern region, Aldert became the first cattail farmer in Northwestern Europe.

He sees is as his duty to advocate simple, secure methods for minimizing drained peatland emissions and soil subsidence while allowing farmers to have a reliable and solid income from the many beneficial ecosystem services which cattail wetlands are offering.