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Growing a future

The world faces a great challenge because of climate change. During our lifetime we will have to realize crucial change that will affect the future of generations to come. We believe that it is most important to create awareness about the challenges we’re facing, but also about the steps we as individuals can – no, must – take in order contribute to a sustainable future on our planet. ​

We stand for

Respect for nature

We believe that it is up to our generation to intervene and change the situation as much as we can. We need to protect our planet and its precious but vulnerable nature and wildlife. Especially on Gran Canaria. With its wide variety of natural environments, its vulnerability can almost be felt. We believe that we can protect these vulnerable natural areas by reforesting, increasing biodiversity and restoring water to the land. This transformation of the landscape to its natural state will create a healthy natural environment with a vibrant landscape that is more adaptable to climate change.

Sharing knowledge

We teach inhabitants and visitors of the Canary Island how they can live a sustainable and happy life with respect for their surroundings. Our food forest and ecologically responsible farm shows that it is very well possible to produce food, even on a barren mountain top. We stimulate the reforesting of the mountains of Gran Canaria in a useful and sustainable way. At the same time, we use eco-tourism to let others experience that living in a small house semi off-grid is not only doable, but also comfortable. And when needed, we’ll work on their mental wellbeing while enjoying the natural diversity of the island.

A great experience

We let our guests experience and learn all about a happy and sustainable lifestyle. No matter if they are volunteers that stay and work with us for more than a week, tourists that stay with us for a couple of days while they also enjoy the hiking trails, professionals who want to change their personal or professional lives through coaching or school children that visit us for an hour with their class, we will give them a unique experience. Our visitors will not only see and hear what our food forest has to offer and how we deal with the challenges of our time, but they will also learn what they can do to create a small food forest in their own backyard or schoolyard.

This is us

Sjef Heijnen of Dutch Canary


Sjef has always been fascinated by the interaction between humans, plants and animals. And during his study and early years of work, the drive to combat climate change was born as well. With his experience in both practical and theoretical work with scientific institutes, universities and government bodies, he will be responsible for laying the groundwork of the food forest. And while the food forest grows, he can monitor, document and share the results with the world.


Winfred loves helping people to change their life in order to achieve more happiness and success. With his extensive experience in marketing, management and coaching he has all qualities needed for the business side of the company, the marketing and leading the retreat center. And since he is a great fan of hiking on Gran Canaria, he will inspire visitors to enjoy the local hiking trails and the spectacular natural beauty of the island.

Dutch Canary

The name Dutch Canary is a combination of The Netherlands and the Canary Islands. The Netherlands is the country where we both grew up and where our dream sprouted. On the Canary Island we will realize our dream to create a food forest and retreat center that will change people’s lives.

Our ultimate goal

We aim to return our mountain top to a healthy and fertile natural state. Where we grow food in a responsible way and with respect for nature. And where we share our knowledge and sustainable life style with local visitors and tourists.

Follow our adventures

We love to share our adventures with you through YouTube. Of course, we will tell you all about our finca, challenges and successes. But we will also tell you all about the interesting places you can visit on the island. And we will help you to create a happy and sustainable life yourself.  As soon as we publish our first video, we’ll share it here. Keep an eye on this page or register to our newsletter on the bottom of this page.  

help grow the forest

as you can see, we still have a long way to go until we realize a mature food forest.

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