My name is Thea van Hoof. For thirty years I’ve been engaged in a relentless exploration of the world of plants. Being outside, looking around, experiencing the influence of the green surrounding me: even as a child it exhilarated me. My love for gardening I have also harbored from an early age.
After school I wanted to learn something that is practical and useful. And what is of more basal use than farming? I went to the higher agricultural school.
That year I first encountered the medical world. I felt strongly attracted it by and decided to change course. I went to study medicine at the University of Nijmegen. There I studied for six years. Due to circumstances I did not manage to top the study off with a diploma. I’m not a doctor, but I do have thorough knowledge of basic medicine.
After this study, I took several courses in various types of massage. At De Lightbergh in Haaren (which is nowadays called Het Kruidenrijk, or “The Herbdom”) I followed the first year course herbal medicine. The group of students was so enthusiastic, that we came back for a second year. Thus the multi-annual study of herbal medicine was founded, which is still given there.
At home I started rightaway with harvesting, drying and mixing. I have done a lot of experimenting to improve my herbal products.
Later, I did a part-time course at the College of Naturopathy Arnhem. I graduated in 1996. In the meantime, I already lived on a farm in the rural Achterhoek where I had access to a small hectare of farmland. Here I started to plant a herb garden.
In the cultivation of medicinal plants everything comes together for me.