Wezenspyk cheese farm


In the late 19th century, the Witte family built Wezenspyk at its current location. The farm was equipped for livestock farming. In the ’80s, however, Anton and Janine began making Farmer’s and sheep’s cheese. Later they added goat’s cheese. Nowadays, Wezenspyk Cheese Farm is a familiar name on Texel.
Who are we?


Ever since 1981, Wezenspyk Cheese Farm has been producing the tastiest cheeses. Anton Witte and his son Job have created something unique with their cheeses. The Texel climate and unusual soil type have an excellent effect on the cheeses and you can taste that! Quality cheese influenced by the island of Texel.
Over 100 years of cheese


1400 - 1890
1890 - 1956
1956 - 2000
2000 - 2012
2012 - 2017
2017 - 2020
2020 - NOW
The Wezenspyk polder already existed before the Reformation (16th century) as ‘Begijnenspyk’. Begijnen, or beguines in English, were Christian lay orders not uncommon in the areas now known as The Netherlands. The polder was owned by the beguines, who inhabited a convent with a chapel, near the Groeneplaats in the center of Den Burg. They made a living off the proceeds from the donated lands. After the Reformation, they moved to Leiden. Were they called back due to an overly liberal lifestyle on Texel? The convent stood empty for a time before it was decided to take in the orphans of Texel there. In the French Era (around 1800), over fifty children inhabited the former convent.
The concept of a stolp farm refers to a style involving a square building featuring a thatched roof, used for farming. As ordered by the widow of Pieter Janzn Witte (+1890), a stolp was moved from Oosterend to a piece of land called ‘de hoge koeienweid’ or ‘high cow pasture’ at Wezenspyk polder. Her son Cornelis (Keesie Piet) became the first inhabitant. After his first wife passed away, Keesie Piet moved to Oosterend, leasing out the farm. Marius Witte (born 1928), son of Keesie Piet and his second wife Grietje Barhorst, came to live at Wezenspyk in 1956. He kept a cattle farm with cows and sheep. The farm was surrounded by 13 hectares of land.
Anton is Marius Witte’s oldest son. Along with his brother Marcel, he joined the business. Until 1980, with the introduction of the cubicle barn, the cows would be inside the stolp during winter, while the sheep were in a shed during lambing time. At this point, Anton decided to start making cheese. The first year this only included Farmer’s cheese with milk from the farm. After cheese maker Commandeur quit making sheep’s cheese, though, Anton pressed on. Neighboring sheep farmers started milking sheep for cheese production. As such, in 1982, sheep’s cheeses were produced at Wezenspyk along with the farmer’s cheese.
From the year 2000, Wezenspyk was handed over to Anton and Janine, as brother Marcel tried his luck on another farm. Father Marius had already handed over responsibilities a few years earlier. The business continued to evolve. 2007 marked the arrival of a robotic milking machine, quite a landmark being only the second such robot on Texel. It milked 70 cows. Rapid expansion followed: in 2009, a second robotic milking machine was added to handle the growing herd, but the cubicle barn proved too small to handle further growth. Through breeding practices, the cattle grew larger, meaning the cubicles and walkways became too small. At the same time, there was also the desire to build new cheese-making facilities.
Wezenspyk established a cooperation (a milk-partnership, if you will) with the Rutten family of the Eendracht. Wezenspyk’s dairy cows were moved to a large new stable in the Eendracht polder, located in northern Texel, while the farm’s cheese-making facilities were drastically overhauled. The cow’s milk is collected using a dairy tank and transported to the farm. This is how, in the modern facilities, the farmer’s cheese is still made using our own herd. Sheep’s milk and goat’s milk are also collected using a dairy tank, from fellow farmers in the area.
In 2017, the cow barn was converted into a sheep stable. As of spring 2018, 250 sheep are milked there daily. Additionally, the Skéép en Lantskap Texel Foundation opened the Sheep Museum on June 23rd of 2018. The museum is located in the sheep pen, behind Wezenspyk’s yard, and can be reached using the ‘landscape path’. This footpath continues past meadows, with a draw ferry across a wide ditch towards an old sea dyke and the historic village of Den Hoorn.
As of spring 2020, Anton and Janine’s youngest son Job Witte has moved back to the farm after spending 10 years living, studying and working in Amsterdam. Job has taken on the fine task of solidifying and propelling the business forward. Through collaboration with the Texel Farm Store (Boerderijwinkel) on Westerweg road, Wezenspyk has been able to expand its product range with such items as lamb meat from Texel.
de lieuw texel


Nature conservation is an important topic for Wezenspyk, which is why the farm has joined forces with agricultural nature- and landscape association ‘De Lieuw’. Wezenspyk has made three plots of land available for the ‘Plasdras’ project: an area larger than ten football fields! The Plasdras project involves storing rainwater in a basin in the meadow during winter. Then, during spring, this water is allowed to spill through the landscape. This practice helps keep the area wet, allowing birds to find their food in the fertile soils. The Plasdras project is a way for Wezenspyk to try and harmonize its business operations with nature as much as possible.