Pt 10: A lay of the land

Lots of you kind and curious folks have been wondering how this enterprise of ours works. We’ve been getting questions left and right, asking how those scientific sodbusters down at the lab go about their business on the road from fungus to feta, from yeast to yoghurt. Well, I’m just a humble scribe, and my ink-stained fingers ain’t never touched the shiny chrome of a fermentation vat, but I sat down by the campfire with Kathleen ‘The Sticky Belgian’ Piens one crisp autumn night as she patiently explained to me every detail of the operation. Being the Head of Downstream Processing, Kathleen possesses a unique overview of the many cogs that constitute this dairy-developing machine. She gave me a rundown of the different lab spaces, each with a purpose and personality as distinct and specialized as the good people working there, and now I’m sharing this rare glimpse with you, dear reader.


The Ranch

First off, let’s start with shedding some light on the micro-organisms that set this entire process in motion, and on the people who make them move in the direction we want them to; The Magnificent Seven. These molecular miracle-workers take copies of the genes that are present in a cow’s DNA, the genes which are responsible for the production of dairy proteins, and introduce them to a yeast or fungal strain. Such a little set of genetic code contains all the instructions an organism needs to build the proteins that will eventually become dairy. Now, I know what you might be thinking, but luckily in this day and age these genes don’t have to come from an actual cow any more. Knowing the exact code that constitutes such a gene allows us to have it synthesized, meaning that it’s stitched together one nucleobase at a time, and with no need to bother a breathin’ bovine. Once such a gene has been successfully implanted in the DNA of a micro-organism, the Magnificent Seven start cultivating the yeast or fungus in small amounts at The Ranch, in order to see if it starts producing the desired proteins. Like wild horses, some of these strains buck more than others when they’re being tamed, and it’s up to the Seven to see which are ready to be saddled up for a true test drive.

The Open Range

Once these strains are selected and saddle-broken in The Ranch they’re moved on to The Open Range, where our team of dedicated fermentation specialists takes them for a spin. Here they have a whole set of small fermentation vats in which promising strains can be grown under the circumstances that they love best. Whether it’s down to temperature, the amount of oxygen they receive, or how often they like to be fed, all these strains have their own specific wants and needs.



Our people at the Open Range develop a process to make sure those needs are met, and continue to test the performance and robustness of these strains on a slightly larger scale. If all goes as planned, we now have our hands on some micro-organisms that appear to grow well and produce the proteins we want them to. At that point we’ve got everything we need in order to grow and evaluate them on an even larger scale, so they’re moved on to The Cattle Drive where their microbial mettle is put to the test.

The Cattle Drive & Calamity Mine

At The Cattle Drive, that very same team of fermentation specialists continues growing the most promising strains of yeast and fungus, using the methods that were developed in The Open Range. Alongside a row of 15L vats stands our prize cow, a larger model that we call a pilot fermentor. At a whopping size of 300L, this fermentor represents Margaret, our stainless steel lady. Inside our Margaret, the micro-organisms will grow, feeding on grass-derived sugars and producing the dairy proteins that we need to make the milk and cheese we so desire. After this process of growth, fermentation and production is concluded, we’re left with a soup of different components; a so-called fermentation broth. Through centrifugation and different methods of filtration, the relevant proteins are separated from this broth before they move on to the next stage in our process…


Go to part II of A lay of the Land


PT 9: A Tale of Two Cheesemongers

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of making new alliances, and the age of making a cheese like the world had never seen before. Through the frigid gloom of December’s dusky days came riding a dairy queen like straight out of an old-timey novel. Having arrived at our homestead, the stranger shook the snow off her boots and warmed herself by the hearth, where a fire crackled merrily. As the hoarfrost on her cloak melted, forming droplets on the floor, she put aside her cowboy hat to reveal a cascade of golden locks, and took a minute to catch her breath. The smell of woodsmoke mingled with those of the holiday spices hanging from the rafters, and she inhaled deeply once more before introducing herself. As it turns out, this lone ranger had come from afar, from the Westland territories that cover the Maasland meadows, the Old Amsterdam floodplains, and the Trenta hills. These lands, known for a dairy dynasty spanning nearly a century, had sent her forth to our good folks at the ranch on a mission to forge an alliance. An alliance which would open new doors for all of us, and which would give the world a taste of what vegan cheese could truly be.

Well, our head honcho didn’t need longer than two shakes of a cow’s tail to decide that this lady was one hundred percent bona-fide, from the silver spurs on her cowboy boots to the rider’s denims that she wore. She even rode a rare Tesla steed, just like our cowboy in command. Their connection was instant, and after short deliberation a golden deal was struck. The two announced that Westland and Those Vegan Cowboys would create an animal-friendly cheese in the best way possible: by joining forces and working together, as we’ve always done before.

Now, this doesn’t mean that the search for the Silver Spore has ended, or that we’ve forgotten about the quest for that fabled cheese eldorado. No sir, those efforts will continue, and we’re booking results with the passing of each and every day. In fact, this collaboration is sure to speed things up, paving the way for even bigger plans ahead. Thing is, reinventing the wheel is a whole lot easier when you have a partner to count on, and two cowboy hats cover twice as much wisdom as one.

As to when you and I are gonna be able to try this new cheese, I can’t tell. All I know is that it won’t be too long, and as the season passes and the sun returns to the sky above, we may well be able to celebrate with our very own slice of vegan heaven. I, for one, can’t wait to have a taste.

Pt 8: Artificial by Nature

As the days grow awfully short, and the sun sets early over the leaf-strewn streets of our towns and villages, we huddle up in the warmth and comfort of home and hearth. Looking out over the windblown fields on such a clear night, you see the pale moon painting the meadows blue, and the farms in the distance glowing like little islands of light on a cold night at sea. The year’s harvest has long ended and a time of hibernation sets in, where we prepare for the new season and await the sun’s return. Both man and beast seek shelter inside and patiently feed on the early autumn’s plentiful bounty, the memory of midsummer’s heat fading as quickly as the green of the trees. At least, that’s how it was for a very long time. Before that, in an age where us humans plowed no fields and sowed no seeds, we moved with the seasons, following the herds of wild animals where they went. Fire kept us warm as the stars guided us on our journey. Since the dawn of time, we have always been dependent on the cycles of nature, up until quite recently.

Reinvent our lives

As mankind lived through countless revolutions around the sun, our tools progressed, constantly changing what it means to be human. Nowadays, we have greenhouses where plants can thrive even if the fields are covered in snow. We have electric lights and heaters that keep the cold and darkness at bay, and fancy devices to connect us to the outside world. Yessir, the technologies that we invent in turn cause us to reinvent our lives, whether it be the first person to harvest a home-grown crop, or the first person to splice a gene. And one thing that all these technologies have in common is that at first they seem revolutionary, even scary, before they become widespread and are considered normal.

A good long chat

Now, one such form of technology that’s on the rise in food production is that of applied microbiology, coupled with the use of genetic engineering. In order to better understand the impact and benefits of these technologies, I sat down with our Sheriff, Will van den Tweel, and Steven ‘sing-a-long’ Geysens for a good long chat. They explained to me how these fields of research are focused on understanding the inner workings of organisms on the smallest scale, and on actively shaping them.

Food from a laboratory

This might sound artificial or unnatural, but when you think about it, this ain’t really anything new. Ever since the dawn of agriculture, farmers have faithfully selected those plants that yielded the most corn or the cows that gave the most milk. In doing so, mankind ‘sculpted’ species of plants and animals into versions that would’ve otherwise never existed, like the potatoes ‘n peppers that we consider to be so natural. Heck, even the production of cheese and beer are heavily dependent on controlled microbial processes and those have been around for thousands of years. The only thing that’s changed is our growing understanding of these processes, and the way we apply them. It’s this very same understanding of microbiology that now allows us to deconstruct foods that used to come from animals, and to start developing them in laboratories instead. Of course, that might not seem like a very nice idea at first. When you think of a cold glass of milk, you’d rather picture a happy cow in a field than a big metal vat in a sterile lab. If we examine the details and consequences, however, that last picture becomes a lot brighter. First of all, microbiology takes away the need to bother or exploit any living creature in making the products that traditionally come from animals, and they can live a much happier life if there ain’t a big industry that takes priority over their happiness. Secondly biodiversity ain’t nothin’ make light of. The laboratory makes for a much more efficient way of doing things, and that’s a fact. On top of all that, we can even apply these technologies in order to make the foods that we know and love much healthier than they have been in the past. We can eliminate the hormones and antibiotics that are so present in many dairy products, we can control the presence of certain components such as saturated fats, and we can create an animal-friendly product that is simply superior to its old-fashioned predecessor.

A revolution that will benefit us all

All in all, mankind has always been somewhat artificial by nature. Who we are is defined by the tools we use, and those tools are ever changing. From gathering berries to planting them, from hunting animals to herding them, we now stand at the brink of a new revolution. A revolution that will benefit us all, man and animal alike.

PT 7: Those Vegan Cowgirls

Gather around, ladies and gentlemen, for today this songbird will be singing you a different song than you’ve heard from him before. Course, we got plenty of stuff going down on our good ranch that I could tell you about, and many exciting things cookin’ in the lab, but that’s a tale for another day. This here story I’m about to unfold is about the women of the wild west, the daring dames that rose to great heights in a society that tried to keep them down. These ‘femmes’ proved ‘fatale’ to the old-fashioned stereotypes of the world, and now and then to an unlucky banker or cattle driver that was foolish enough to reach for his shooting iron. In the face of adversity, these women found out that at some point the voice of the unheard has to stop asking and start demanding. In doing so, they left their mark on history and changed the course of time. I’m sure this is starting to sound mighty familiar…

One such desert rose went by the name of Pearl Hart. From a well-off family in the frigid lands of Ontario, she was given all the things a young lady could dream of, if a young sophisticated lady were to have the correct dreams of course. She received the best education and would never be short on money, all she had to do was follow the path that was set out for her. Marry a man of her parent’s choosing, have lots of children, and conform to the role of mother and wife. Many a girl would have been jealous, but it turns out that Pearl was cut from a different wood altogether. She refused to live a life that she had no say in, and chose freedom in hardship over slavery in wealth.

She ran off, and hardship was indeed what she encountered. After many trials and tribulations she came across Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and saw Annie Oakley, famous sharpshooter and advocate for female self-defense. Annie was living the life that Pearl had been dreaming of, living proof that a woman could make a change in the world and be respected for it. And although Pearl herself turned to a more, let’s say, clandestine way of living, she carried the torch of change throughout her life. At her court trial for robbery she infamously claimed that she did not consent to being punished for breaking a law that she, as a woman, could not have voted for. Her voice was heard, and she was released without charges.

Now, you might be asking yourself where this story’s headed, and I’m about to tell you. For every Pearl Heart and for every Annie Oakley, there are a hundred, a thousand other women who are changing this world of ours every single day. At the hands of the women at our lab who are pushing the boundaries of science and industry, of the ones who are investing in revolutionary vegan businesses, and of those who raise awareness for innovative female-founded vegan initiatives, change is upon us. And of course: those who make it happen.

When it comes down to it, change is never easy. Regardless whether you’re a man or woman, it’s difficult to take the path less travelled by. That’s why it’s good to remind ourselves why we do this, why we walk this road. We walk it because, like Pearl and Annie and all those others, we choose the future rewards of today’s hardship over the future price of today’s easy road. We walk it with pride, and are getting closer to a brighter tomorrow with each and every step.

Picture: Pearl Hart – Unknown Author – “An Arizona Episode”. Cosmopolitan 27: 673-677. May-October 1899.


PT 6: Faster than a speeding bullet…

…the name and fame of Those Vegan Cowboys and our trusted Iron Lady, Margaret, is spreading across the globe. In only a short week’s time, our dairy diplomats were invited to speak at no less than three separate conferences. At these scientific shindigs, they shared their message about the quest for vegan dairy products and the fungal strain that’ll make it all possible. Across the Belgian hills and the digital plains these envoys travelled, and they were received with much enthusiasm. Later in the year, when the days grow short and the moon rises early over the frost-covered fields, we’ll even be featured at one such conference in the Big Apple, otherwise known as New York City. Our head honcho himself, Jaap Korteweg, had his own hands full in the meantime. Making an appearance on national television, he laid out the truth about our agricultural industry and his vision for a better tomorrow.

Yessir, it’s been a busy week indeed, but it’s only going to get busier from here on out. And as the rain kept trickling down the sky, the first possible leads in our search for the Silver Spore have been trickling down the mailbox. Whether it be for fame, fortune, or simply a brighter future, several parties expressed their interest in this bounty and will share their knowledge with us in the upcoming weeks. Hopefully, we’ll catch a sure sign of the strain that we’re searching for. Even so, our cowboys are keeping an eye on the horizon for more news, for that lone ranger that might come riding down the dusty road, clutching a weathered map leading to that fabled prize.

Our stainless steel beauty, Margaret, has been expectantly gazing over the fields for such a rider… …at least, when she’s not looking in the mirror! Our bovine lady received so many lovely letters and reactions over the past weeks since she was revealed to the public, that it’s gone straight to her high-carbon head. She feels almost like a dairy diva, a wonderful and entirely new star in the sky, and she’s completely right of course. The only thing that made her feel shy again was when she met a lovely RoboBull from the Exos ranchers. They had so much in common, she couldn’t help falling head over hooves and has been mooing a lot more than we’re used to ever since their meeting. With all that metallic music in the air, it’s definitely been a tough job for our cowboys to try ‘n stay focused on the task at hand. All in all, it’s been an eventful time for our cowboys and Margaret, and I for one can’t wait to see what happens next.

PT 5: Search for the Silver Spore

Now, breaking down grass and turning it into dairy proteins may be a trick that mother nature herself figured out eons ago, but for us humans it’s proven mighty difficult to replicate. We’ve grown accustomed to the idea that we keep a patch of land and some cattle, and that the milk simply keeps flowing. Problem is, that patch of land kept growing until it wasn’t a patch no more. Instead of a few cows that get lots of personal care and attention in exchange for their milk, we got them cooped up like battery hens and hooked up to machines to meet the ever-increasing demand for dairy. ‘Course, there’s plenty farmers who take good care of their animals and who take pride in their treatment, but those are becoming scarcer by the year. And it ain’t just the cows who’re suffering, neither. The pressure that the dairy industry exerts on our land, our water supply, and our biodiversity has been rising.

Those Vegan Cowboys think it’s high time to look toward the future, and to look for a better way. Well, the molecular miracle that goes on inside those cows is something we’ve taken for granted for a long time, a fact that’s becoming all the more obvious as our efforts in the lab continue. The trick is to find the right strain of fungus; one that eats grass and produces so-called caseins through a process of fermentation. These caseins are essential building blocks of dairy, and producing them in bulk is the key to creating a dairy industry that’s not dependent on the use of live animals. Using their own set of fungal strains, our hard working folks in the lab have caught a rare glimpse of these caseins, like grains of gold in the digger’s pan. This is a sure sign that we’re on the right track, but history rarely remembers those who’ve spent their years just to walk away with a pouch of gold dust in the end. No, we have our sights set on the motherlode, and to that end we need a very specific fungus to guide our way.

We came to calling this fungus the Silver Spore, a stable strain of microbial magic that can efficiently create the caseins we need to change the world of dairy. All the gold and gemstones in the Appalachian mountains put together ain’t worth half as much to us as this spore, so we’ve placed a mighty high bounty on its discovery: two and a half million euros to those who point us to the strain we so sorely need. Reporters and papers quickly took up the message, and boy did word spread fast. Across plains and seas alike, people caught wind of this noble search and all over the world microbiologists have been straining their minds to think of ways in which they could aid us in our quest. It might come from Russia, it might be from China, from a humble lab in Illinois or even on soil much closer to home, but find it we will. And when we do, our road to cheese Eldorado will be laid out in front of us, as plain as a nugget of gold in a handful of mud.

<download poster>

PT 4: Gold rush in the Milklab

Now, unlike open range, where cows are mostly left unattended until it is time to be rounded up, our milk robot is still in need of constant care. Once she’s had a calf, a cow may produce milk without putting too much thought into it, but life in the MilkLab is different.

In order to get the milk robot to work, the cowboys need to unravel the mystery of casein micelles – the spherical structures much needed for making cheese. All bovine caseins have been broken down to their smallest components, and now the process of putting them together and looking at micelle formation begins. Our posse have their plan laid out and take position behind their microscopes. And then they wait.

Yes, this can be sheer drudgery, but it also bears resemblance with the gold rushes of the past. You couldn’t just throw your pan in the river bed and expect gold to magically deposit itself in there. You needed to wash the ore endlessly and wait for the gold among the mud and gravel to settle on the bottom of your pan. But once it had, you could be pretty damn sure there would be plenty more where that came from. Casein micelles also have the tendency to settle, since they don’t dissolve in water easily, or at all for that matter. And that is what our cowboys are waiting for.

The view underneath the microscopes is like an endless prairie, not a tree within spitting distance. The cowboys will ride for days before encountering something, if anything. But they keep riding, with their hats pulled low, squinting their eyes and scanning the horizon, only resting when… Wait, one of the cowboys jumps up, takes out her gun and shoots a few blanks – it is, after all, still a lab. She sits back down, looks again, but it’s there all right. Drifting into the optical path of her microscope, a first casein makes its appearance. Yee-haw!

PT 3: Cowboy finds himself a lab

After searching long and wide, the quest for knowledge and know-how brought our boys to Belgian soil. Hidden away amidst the sprawling facilities of Ghent University, they found themselves at the doorstep of a laboratory like no other. Inside, cowboys were hard at work, but not with the cowboy’s familiar tools of the trade. No sir, these cowboys worked not with lassos or leather straps, but with beakers and pipettes, with shakers and centrifuges.

These fellers know all there is to know about proteins. Until that day, they had been using their hard-earned knowledge and expertise for the development of medicine, a noble venture indeed, but now they would embark on a journey of applying these skills to a venture nobler still; creating plant-based successors of the milk and cheese we love so dearly.

Jaap and Niko had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with Will, the friendly Sheriff in this neck of the woods and the man who would be leading his band of scientific frontiersmen on their newly found mission for the white gold that is vegan dairy. Along with his head honchos Kathleen, Steven and Frank, he’s setting out to investigate and create an animal-friendly alternative to old-fashioned milk and cheese. To this end, these fellers break down the building blocks of milk into their constituent elements, and develop the stuff to replace them with.

These cowboys are hopeful that the fruit of their labors will reveal new ‘n exciting ways to employ yeast and fungi in the synthesis of proteins and casein. This here group of pioneering professors came to calling themselves Those Vegan Cowboys, scientists on a mission for a better world.

Those Vegan Cowboys are dead set on driving the cattle out of our food chain; the logical next step in humanity’s collective development of the dairy industry. From milking by hand back in the day, we took strides towards the future with milking machines, and are now living in a world where fully automated milking robots catch the blisters so we don’t have to. But now that our suffering of the job has lessened with technology, it’s high time for their turn, for the animals whom we have cared for and grown to love all these centuries. Through their hard work and effort in the lab, Those Vegan Cowboys are looking to liberate the cow and replace it with a new milk machine, one that takes grass and turns it into milk. Durable, animal-friendly, and one-hundred percent high grade stainless steel: the first genuine milk robot!

This search won’t be the kind that’s over and done with in a short year or two. In all likelihood, it’ll take years before a true end to this mission is in sight, but Those Vegan Cowboys are nowhere near discouraged by this fact. One day our kids will be sat around the campfire, telling the story of how milk and cheese used to come from animals back in their day, and the youngsters listening wide-eyed won’t be able to imagine such a thing. Fortunately, Jaap and Niko know from personal experience with The Vegetarian Butcher that it sure can take a while before one finds the plant-based egg of Columbus that we’re dreaming of. All the more reason to start searching today. Hi Ho Silver, saddle up, it’s going to be a long, hard ride. Yeehaw!

PT 2: Farmer becomes a cowboy

As tends to happen in life, things turn out differently than planned. Rather than becoming a trapper, Jaap becomes a farmer. Just like his father, his grandfather, and no less than six Korteweg generations before him. Driving his tractor, however, he sometimes still pretends to be that heroic pioneer from the prairies. He’ll aim his finger at a muskrat and whisper ‘Pang’, but his killing days are over. Just like ‘Old Shatterhand’, Jaap often contemplates right and wrong, good and bad.

Then one day, there is an outbreak of swine fever. Watching those endless images of dead pigs on TV, Jaap decides this animal misery must end. Animals that are free: GOOD; animals chained or killed by humans: BAD. The time to fish or cut bait is now, so Jaap and brother Niko, whom he meets by chance, come up with a ruse. Animals are slaughtered simply because people don’t want to live without meat. But what if they were to build a machine that makes that same meat, skipping the whole misery part? And that’s how The Vegetarian Butcher was born.

The farmer has become a cowboy. A rebel with a cause, kicking up a row, waking snakes – turning the status quo upside down. A new type of cattleman. One who doesn’t have a horse, but an electric car with a 449 horsepower rating that can drive like the devil. This cowboy avant la lettre refuses to catch animals, instead, he builds machines so he can release them from their chains. And afterwards, he’ll lead the cattle back to the prairie where they can roam freely.

Thanks to his first machine, killing animals for meat becomes unnecessary. So far, so good. But this vegetarian cowboy has become aware of other sufferings: cows stowed away for their milk, calves separated from their mothers, chickens caged for their eggs. Ho now! That first machine alone won’t do; these two defenders of what’s right start looking for reinforcements.


PT 1: Jaap wants to be a cowboy

Young Jaap wants to be a trapper when he grows up. He wants to be just like Karl May’s most famous character Old Shatterhand, who only fires a bullet as a last resort and lets justice prevail. With this heroic pioneer from the prairies in mind, our young daredevil roams the countryside in Brabant, looking for adventures, his trusty rifle at the ready. Being the honourable cowboy that he is, Japie fantasises about taking on the bullies out there. He will catch them, give them the fright of their lives, and after that he’ll allow the scoundrels to run away, still trembling with fear – just like Old Shatterhand would.

Every Sunday in front of the fire at the Old Nest, young Japie listens to Uncle Piet’s tall tales. His adventurous great-uncle left for North America at seventeen, and lived – he never gets tired of telling this – with the Native Americans. His stories may not always be accurate, but no one minds. Let alone young Japie, who dreams of following in his uncle’s footsteps.


About uncle Piet

  • Oom Piet als kleine jongen (1/6)

    Piet, de latere oudoom van Jaap Korteweg, wordt op 12 februari 1895 geboren in Zierikzee. Hij is de zevende uit een gezin met acht kinderen. Pieter Boudewijn ten Haaf, zoals hij voluit heet, wordt vernoemd naar zijn overgrootvaders Pieter van Poortvliet en Boudewijn van der Slikke.

  • Huize Ruimzicht (2/6)

    De familie ten Haaf heeft het goed. Vader ten Haaf koopt het buitenverblijf van de burgemeester van Zierikzee. De meeste tijd spendeert de familie in het achterhuis van ‘Huize Ruimzicht.’ Moeder ten Haaf, Pieternella van Poortvliet, verwijdert de siertuinen en plant fruitbomen.

  • Vertrek naar Amerika (3/6)

    Volgens het verhaal volgt Piet op zeventienjarige leeftijd zijn broer Leen naar Amerika om daar samen te werken op een nieuwe boerderij.

  • Bericht aan thuis (4/6)

    Of ze dat daadwerkelijk samenwerken, is de vraag. Wel bewijst een ansichtkaart uit 1924 dat Leen en Piet met elkaar optrekken.

  • Op zoek naar goud (5/6)

    In 1928 overlijdt broer Leen, waarna Piet zijn eigen weg gaat. Hij gaat op zoek naar goud, in California bij de Humbug Creek, zoals op de achterkant van een foto beschreven uit 1934 beschreven staat. Oom Piet vertelt later dat hij goud vindt en de klompjes verstopt onder de vensterbank in zijn kamer. Hij bewaart ze voor zijn zussen en nichten. Zij ontvangen het goud nooit – naar zeggen van oom Piet omdat een compagnon hem besteelt. Boze tongen in de familie beweren dat van dat verhaal niets klopt.

  • Weer thuis (6/6)

    Pieternella van Poortvliet verliest haar eerste kind al vroeg. Daarna komen haar zonen Leen, Willem en haar jongste dochter Nel (de oma van Jaap) te overlijden. Pieternella wil niet alleen achterblijven en vraagt aan Piet om terug te komen. In 1938 komt hij terug naar Nederland en trekt bij zijn moeder en zussen in op Huize Ruimzicht. Het bevalt hem matig, trekt. Hij vraagt een nieuw visum aan, waar hij door het uitbreken van de oorlog niets aan heeft. Moeder Pieternella overlijdt in 1943 op 88-jarige leeftijd. Oom Piet blijft met zijn zussen in Zierikzee wonen. Tijdens de watersnood van 1953 spoelt Huize Ruimzicht letterlijk leeg. Piet vertrekt met zijn zussen naar Den Haag, waar hij later in 1983 overlijdt.