In the Netherlands, millers get UNESCO status; AFP

Netherlands – Mill Network at Kinderdijk-Elshout

Last month “the craft of the miller operating windmills and watermills” was officially included on UNESCO’s list of “the intangible cultural heritage of humanity.”

An icy wind blows the windmill’s soaring sails, turning them quickly and cranking the large stone wheels inside in a time-honored method of grinding grain.

“I live from the wind,” says Dutch miller Maarten Dolman, one of only about 40 people in the Netherlands to still earn a living from making flour in a way that has changed little down the centuries.

“It’s been my engine for the past 30 years,” he smiles, as jute sacks quickly fill with powdery white granules.

After making his early morning deliveries to local bakeries, Dolman starts on his daily production of up to 2,200 pounds of flour aided solely by the power of the bone-achingly cold wind, which moans across the low-lying northern European country.


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