The Irene Hoeve cheese farm has been built almost four centuries ago. It always has been a cheese farm. 

In 1984 the farm has been rebuilt on the old foundation and in exactly the same style as before, the famous "stolp".

The farm has been been doing cheese and clogmaking demonstrations ever since.

Cheese making

We make cheese approximately three times a week. We make exactly as much cheese as we expect to sell later. 

When we are making cheese, we fill the tub with 400 liter fresh milk from Waterland. This is enough to produce 60 kg of cheese. We only make artisanal cheese, this implies that the milk is raw and everything in the process is done by hand. 

We fill the tub with milk just before opening the shop at 9 a.m. Around 11 a.m. the cheese is already under the press.

Because we make cheese in small amounts we can afford to try and experiment by adding new ingredients every now and then. If you have a brilliant idea for a cheese that has not been discovered yet, we are more than interested!


Clogs originated in the 13th century. The oldest pair of clogs were found in a peat bog in the province of Drenthe. The popularity of clogs rose in the 16th century. Because the dutch economy was primarily agarian, farmers needed a sturdy shoe that would protect and withstand them from the muddy polders. The clogs made sure that the feet of the farmer stayed dry. During that time clogs were also worn by other people with an outdoor occupation like sailors and fisherman.

In the 20th century, the popularity of clogs went down because a lot of people moved to the more urban parts of the land where modern footwear was available. But in the end wooden shoes are still worn by some farmers, as part of a traditional costume, for reasons of health or as a fashion statement..

Gouda cheese

Gouda cheese is one of the most famous cheese in the Netherlands and originated from the city of Gouda. It has got the shape of a wheel and fat percentage of 48%. Nowadays the name Gouda refers to the recipe of the cheese, not the actual location where it's made. 

Nowadays the cheese market in Gouda is being held once a week, mostly for tourists.

Gouda cheese is sold in other countries by the same name, because the name and the shape of a cheese are not protected. The graphical representation of "Gouda Holland" is since 2010 protected by the European Comission. The cheese with this logo is made in Holland using Dutch milk only.

Freshly made cheese, non-pasturised, contains the most of vitamins A, B and D. In contrast to other cheeses Gouda cheese also contains vitamin B12.

Cheese is being produced in holland since the prehistory. In his book "La bello Gallico" Julius Caesar writes about the Dutch making cheese. Ever since the Dark Ages the cheese is exported abroad. And since the famous Golden Age, Dutch cheese is really known for the fine taste.


"Katwoude" is a small village located on the coast of the "Markermeer" and is part of the municipality of Waterland. The "Markermeer" and the "IJsselmeer" are separated by the "Houtribdijk". Together they used to form the former Zuiderzee and have been dammed by the Afsluitdijk since 1932. 

Before 1991, "Katwoude" was a separate municipality, with a total of about 250 inhabitants. At the time it was the smallest municipality in the Netherlands.

The name of the village has its origins in a myth, in which a "Woud", Dutch for forest, is owned by a "Kat", Dutch for cat. The rumors about "Wood" have been cut down and the "Cat" is still on the wanted list.

"Katwoude" has its own windmill, called "De Kathammer". The windmill must pump the water from the "Katwoude polder" to the "Markermeer".

On a sunny day it is advisable to take a walk on the dike with the most beautiful view you can get of the Markermeer, the ancient city of Monnickendam and the former island of Marken.