May 1, 2023
Story by: Angelle van Kleef
Photographs and graphics from the archives
It is not often that the reporting staff (Tim Fitzgerald and C. Richard Campbell) welcomes a new reporter. For years there has been a search for new Rotarian reporters without success. What is so remarkable about this woman is that she has only been a Rotarian for a couple of weeks. And she consented to write this story of her own Classification Talk. We are impressed.
Here is her story.
Angelle was born and raised on a greenhouse farm in the Netherlands. Her parents grew grapes, tomatoes, and sweet peppers while she was growing up. After high school in The Hague, she got her degree in Horticulture. For 3 years she worked as a civil servant, as a consultant to greenhouse growers on their growing practices. In 1988 together with her husband Clen, they started greenhouse growing on her parent’s 2-acre greenhouses. They grew potted flowering plants, i.e. Hibiscus. Around that time her 2 children, Mats and Estelle were born. In 1994 they moved to a newer 3-acre greenhouse. 
Five years later, the family sold their greenhouses and moved to Simcoe, Ontario, Canada. They bought a 46-acre farm and built a 1-acre greenhouse and started producing Hibiscus and later Bromeliads.
The children went to school and played soccer. Angelle got involved in soccer coaching. She was chair of the Holy Trinity Catholic High School council and parent council.
In 2000, they became members of the Norfolk Woodlot Owners Association. From 2010 to 2016, she was on the board and later chair of the NWO.
In 2008, part of the farm on Windham Road 14 was converted into Tall Grass Prairie and Oak Savanna through the ALUS Program. These are two types of habitats that were reduced to 0.1% of their original occurrence.
From 2012 to 2017, Angelle was on the board and secretary for Flowers Canada. This marketing Board represents all cut flower, bedding plant, and potted plant growers in Canada.
From 20.14 to 2017, Angelle was on the board of The Ontario Flower Growers Co-operative. This organization runs the Dutch Auction Clock in Mississauga, selling cut flowers, bedding plants, and potted plants to wholesalers and retailers in Ontario.
In 2017 both children came to work in the greenhouses to gain experience in running their own business.
Estelle has a Masters in Marketing. She and her partner Mischa decided to start their own business, Meuse Brewing Company in Scotland, Ontario. They now produce award-winning beer, run a backyard patio from May till the end of October, and have a Farm Market selling beer and in-season flowers as well as produce on the corner of Highway 24 and Windham Road 3.
Mats has a degree as Mechanical Engineer. He took on a position as a consultant with Enviro Stewards in Elmira. He is a consultant to food processing companies and institutions on saving energy and reducing waste.

Clen and Angelle retired from greenhouse growing in 2021. They keep working on habitat restoration for wildlife. Angelle has joined Long Point Basin Land Trust on the Stewardship Committee.
Last but not least, Angelle joined Simcoe Rotary in 2023 to give back to our community.