King Léopold II wanted to connect the royal palace to the Gare du Nord/Noordstation railway station by rail line. Works were started, but were abandoned after his death, leaving behind a habitat significantly altered by the excavated soil. The ground was also too marshy in this area. An unknown person, however, suggested that it could be suitable for the cultivation of watercress. Three generations of the “Netteke Cresson” family (coincidently “Cresson” means watercress in French!) were well aware of this, dedicating themselves to growing the crop during the interwar period. However, the business folded and it wasn’t until 2013 that a new project saw the reintroduction of this edible crucifer. Supplied with pure running water – essential for growing watercress – from springs on the royal estate, it was only natural for Queen Paola to officially open the watercress beds, which were handed over to be managed by Ferme Nos Pilifs.
avenue des Croix de Feu