Remembering Ed De Boer

Greetings, readers. I will forever be grateful to Ed De Boer for being my colleague and friend. We spent much time together… over lunch, traveling occasionally, recording radio programs, and watching Glenn Beck at Ed and Alida’s house. We even built a strawberry tree together, but that’s another story. In remembrance, here is a story I worked on about Ed until July, 2008. I planned to submit it to a newspaper, but I never quite heard Ed give his approval, so I sat on it… until now. I hope you like it, Mr. De Boer!

A Man with Something to Say

By Walter Stormont

Ed De Boer doesn’t like the term “crusader,” although people might call him that. He’s been called a rebel, a curmudgeon and “a voice crying in the wilderness.” It comes with the territory he blazes.

In his social alarm-sounding, Ed doesn’t go around looking for friends. When someone suggested he’s merely speaking his mind and letting the chips fall where they may, Ed corrected him.

“I’m trying to speak God’s mind,” Ed said over lunch at Lassen’s organic deli. “I may be somewhat handicapped because I’m a human being. I’m not perfect. I don’t want to claim that I know it all, but let me say this, all I know is the Truth, and that helps me to know more. And if I know something that’s not the Truth, I know nothing.”

In his writings, on the radio, on his website,, and in almost every conversation, Ed spares no sentiments. My greatest enemy is the government,” he said. “It’s greater than any foreign enemy. It violates the Constitution and has no regard for the individual or his rights. It’s time we told the government this is a nation of free men, and it’s time they learned to respect that.”

Ed personally experienced the most invasive government possible when he came of age in Nazi-occupied Holland. For three years, he and his brothers went into hiding to avoid conscription by the Germans. The young men frequently had to take refuge in a secret covered pit on their family’s farm. Fortunately, perhaps miraculously, they all survived.

Ed will never consider himself retired. He always has work to do, not the least of which is tending to his vast backyard garden. The task has become considerably more difficult recently as Ed’s legs and eyes aren’t what they once were.

Career-wise, Ed De Boer has been a dairyman, a salesman, a political leader and the owner of a unique company in Idaho. I developed a business of distributing cheese whey that became quite successful,” he said, “to the point where people from Minnesota, California, Canada, Germany, France and Ireland, among other places, came to look at my operation. It was the only commercial whey marketing business in the United States.” The company was called VAE, after the family’s first initials… daughter Valerie, wife Alida and Ed.

“In August of 1976, VAE sold and transported 24 million pounds of whey,” Ed recalled. “Most people fed it to their cows. After all, you are what you eat!” He attributes the death of this business to “government stupidity” in the form of the 1985 dairy buyout.

Ed’s one-hour radio program, “Return to Eden” is heard Saturdays on two stations, ESPN 1230-AM (at 8 a.m.), and KERN 1410-AM (6 p.m.), and again on KERN at midnight Sunday night. He describes the program as an “information show.” It includes plenty of discussion of politics and current events, and he also takes time to promote a soil amendment, Bountiful Harvest, as well as Acres-USA magazine, Wormsworth fertilizer and Organic Pastures raw milk.

“Return to Eden” has aired since January 2006, and no one pays Ed to do it. The broadcast is financed out of his own pocket. He does it because he believes in honoring God and the natural way of life. His product promotions are done out of a belief that they are items that can help us “return to Eden.”

Meeting or visiting with Ed De Boer entails not so much a conversation as an education. Small talk need not apply. His oft-repeated credo, and the title of his upcoming book, is “First, heal the soil.”

Once we get in touch with nature and learn how it functions, and then follow and execute that plan, we will eradicate most of our problems,” Ed said. “The people who do that have a minimum of problems. The only problem they have is government. We have a government against raw milk but which recommends milk and meat from clones. And now we are beginning to feel the wrath of nature. Bees are disappearing… I haven’t seen a robin lately… I used to have doves all over the place; now I hardly see one. I occasionally hear a mourning dove. Very appropriate! I used to wake up to a concert of song birds, and all I pick up anymore is the screech of a blue jay or the curse of a crow.”

Ed De Boer came to the United States in 1950 and has been a citizen since 1953. He owned a dairy in Orange County, where he became good friends with Walter Knott, his mentor in Republican politics. In the mid-1960s, Ed was twice elected to the Orange County Republican Central Committee without so much as campaigning. However, he didn’t like the way the party was going, suggesting that it should have been more media-savvy, among other things. Now a political independent, he says, “I didn’t leave the Republican party… the party left me!” He and Alida have resided in the Oaks area of Bakersfield since 2000. Their daughter Valerie, her husband George and their three children live in Pasadena. Thoughts of his daughter and family bring Ed his greatest joy. There lies the future of America. Family, faith and freedom.

Very few Americans have experienced what Ed De Boer and his family did before he got here, praying that the German soldiers who invaded their land would not discover the brothers huddled in their shallow pit. The boys came close to suffocating, and to this day Ed is claustrophobic. “What this country needs is five years of enemy occupation by an enemy with no scruples, who doesn’t care whether you live or not,” he said.

Ed laments a cramped and cold studio, too, but each taping of “Return to Eden” goes quickly. When engaged in conversation, he makes an hour pass with barely enough time to say, “Start a garden!” as producer “Hop” counts down the final seconds with hand signals and clenches his fist to say, “Time’s up.”

Ed  is just as focused when crafting a hearty, healthy salad at Lassen’s — filling the deep plastic lid, not the plate — and he takes his time enjoying it, cutting it up like a steak. It’s a sweet, crunchy tub of Mother Nature’s best.

“I’ve got three kinds of greens here, two types of lettuce and some baby spinach,” he describes it, “and then I put on a couple wedges of tomato, some cauliflower, and some onions, broccoli… a little bit of bleu cheese, a little bit of cheddar, a little bit of Parmesan.” It’s a far cry from today’s popular diet. “You get a double cheeseburger with a Diet Coke, that’s America,” Ed said.

While feasting on the salad, Ed continues his conversation on American life when a stranger stops by the table. Your voice sounds very familiar,” the man says. “Do you do a radio show?” After a short conversation, Ed hands the departing man his business card. “See? The message is getting out there,” Ed says, “and I hope so, because that’s the only reason I’m doing these things.”

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