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How Is It to Work in the Bulbs?


Hi, I'm Bregt Hopman, and this week, I'm writing the newsletter. I'm going to tell you about my fantastic life and, of course, the amazing holiday job at Fluwel. I've been working at Fluwel for two weeks now, alongside one of my best friends, Pracht. I also work with Sigge Jr., Thijn, and sometimes Parel. I spent a few days working on the production line in the Fluwel warehouse until earlier this week when I got to join the team at the field where Carlos keeps his special narcissus collection. I find this part really enjoyable.

The Last Daffodils Are Being Gathered.

What we're going to do is always a big question mark for the day since it largely depends on the weather. The past few days, we've mainly been gathering daffodil bulbs and sorting them into mesh baskets, separating them by type. It might seem like an easy job, but it's actually quite annoying because you're constantly kneeling and your shoes get filled with sand. Carlos convinced us to work barefoot. It was uncomfortable at first, but we got used to it. According to Carlos, it makes us feel free and one with nature, but honestly, I just like that there's no more sand in my shoes.

Narcissus Ruby Shu

But enough about work; now, let's talk about me. I'm Bregt Hopman, fourteen years old, and I go to school at Regius in Schagen. After the summer vacation, I'll be starting 4th grade (havo), and I'm not really looking forward to it. Fluwel is not my first job in the flower bulbs; I was actually born into a bulb company! Hopman Lelie BV is my father and uncle's family business. As you can tell from the name, it's about lilies, but we also grow tulips in the summer, though those are not our own. Interestingly, our company and Fluwel have a history together. Here's how it goes: My grandfather had already started Hopman Lelie BV with his brother and had recently moved to Westerduinweg in Petten.

Left of the center is Hopman's shed.

At that time, Carlos was starting Fluwel and needed a shed space for it. He got that space from my grandfather during the summer when it would be empty (lilies are processed in the winter). During that time, Fluwel became more successful and grew, and when my grandfather was done with it, he ‘’sent Carlos away’’, and the large Fluwel Shed was built, and the company grew to its current state. Besides Fluwel, I also worked during the spring and summer at Nico Blokker's place down the Belkmerweg.

Narcissus Pracht, named after my friend

But how did I end up at Fluwel? Well, for this story, we have to go all the way back to 2020 when I was in the first year of high school. At that time, I knew the Van der Veek family, but not very well. I don't know exactly why, but Parel Van der Veek and I cycled home from school together once, and since then, we started doing it more often and hanging out. Through that, we became good friends. At the same time, I found out that her little sister, Pracht Van der Veek, was in the same athletics club as me. She's a year younger, so we never trained together before, but now that we're juniors, we train together, which made us friends. Since Pracht and Parel work at their family business, I joined in as well. I really enjoy working here because you feel very welcome, and the humor in the canteen is fantastic.

Bregt and Floor Hopman with tour winner Jonas Vingegaard

It's also no big deal if you miss a day. Like last Tuesday, when I was invited to a party where I could meet the Tour de France winner Jonas Vingegaard. I went there with Fluwel's permission, as long as I wore a shirt with the Fluwel logo for advertising. Of course, I didn't do that. It was fun, and we took photos and asked questions. After 12 o'clock, I returned to work and still put in hours. The next day in the canteen, the warehouse boss Stephan asked, "Who are you?" as if I'm never there. When I told him that I had still come in the afternoon to work, he remained silent.

Bregt & Pracht

When it rains outside, we all work in the greenhouse. We sit at a homemade wooden table and break bulbs; I think they're daffodils. Carlos always asks me to identify the variety we're working with as a test, but I never know the answer. So I started reading the labels, but, of course, the one time I didn't read the label, Carlos asked again, and I didn't know the answer. On my first day here, Carlos asked me, "What type of bulbs are we working with now?" and I answered, "A tulip." It was the right answer, which I think is quite logical because it's the easiest question in the world, but since I answered it correctly and worked hard in the field and the greenhouse, I was given the title of "master worker."

Tulips for sale  (but not the chicken)

Pracht received the title "Floor Manager," and the rest of us didn't get any titles. So I think it's quite special. At home, I have three goats in my garden that belong to me and my family. First, I had two brown ones, and one of them passed away. Then I had one brown and one light brown, but the light brown one also died. Now, I have two brown goats and a white one. Their names are Sturla Holm (named after a Norwegian biathlon athlete), Doortje, and Miep. At Fluwel's canteen, I was offered goat Hassan, as she's old and needs to be rehomed. Unfortunately, my mom didn't let me take her, or else I would have. I also have a cat and one chicken at home. In our house, I live with my mother, father, my sister, and my little brother. My older sister, Floor, works at ‘Land van Fluwel’, which is Fluwel's adventure park. And that’s all for now; I'm going to end this story.

With best regards,

Bregt Hopman

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