The site where Bierkreek is located has been inhabited since the days of Maurits (around 1600). Back then the spot served as an outpost for IJzendijke to warn about the Spanish invasion. There is still a visible ditch around the nursery that served as a bulwark. To the north lay the creek (Thus the name Bierkreek).
The new house was built around 1900. The barn was rebuilt in 1908 when the old barn and the cattle were destroyed by fire on a misty Sunday morning.
From Isendike to IJzendijke
The medieval town of Isendike in its earliest time, around the year 1000, had a certain importance in the booming agricultural county of Flanders. The monks of the abbeys of Gent played a major role in transforming the swampy peat soil into fertile land. Many villages and fields were destroyed by massive floods – particularly in the 14th and 15th centuries. In the 16th century, area residents began to build dikes. During the Eighty Years War a lot of this work was lost because the area was largely put underwater. Maurits founded the new IJzendijke in 1604 and in 1614 the Mauritspolder was built. (Source: Contributions to the history of West Zeeland, Heemkundekring 1979).
The creek running through the Mauritspolder and our yard came from a levee failure. The water wore a trench in the polder by churning up the sandy underlayer. This sand was distributed along the creek’s banks. This is called a “kreekrug” or “creek back”. It is on this creek back (a flat plain higher then the surrounding area) that farms were built because ideally these areas are high, dry, firm and contain fresh water. This contrasts with soft clay in the other lower areas of the polder.
The name Bierkreek is derived from the word “baar” or “beer” which means mud. The roses are grown only on the sandy “creek back” and not in the heavy clay. Therefore the nursery is called The Bierkreek.