Where Overschild relies on nearby villages like Appingedam for its shopping,
Ten Boer has its own supermarket, and implores its inhabitants to use it. Like
its even smaller neighbour Ten Post and many villages in the economically less
favoured parts of the Netherlands, it is facing a population drain, every tenth
house having a "for sale" sign, and this village tries to reverse the flow by
offering actual awards to people who find ways to make the place more attractive
to live in. No doubt this village polices its inhabitants and forces them to
mow their lawns and trim their hedges so as not to scare off prospective newcomers.
Visually, it is attractive enough, being simply too small to have ugly
apartment blocks and the like.
Ten Boer, main road, the place where the bus stops are. To the left, hidden by greenery, the supermarket that I often popped into during the wait for the neighbourhood bus to arrive. To the right, the bridge I had to cross when the neighbourhood bus simply didn't turn up and I had to walk to Overschild instead.
This is what I mean by "visually attractive": gardens maintained by people who have probably lived here for generations and have had the time and opportunity to completely shape them to their liking, unlike the hurried affairs of those who move house every few years.
A beheaded windmill on the other side of the bridge with the yellow sign saying "Koop elders niet wat Ten Boer u biedt", or, in plain English, "Don't do your shopping elsewhere when you could be doing it here".