Farms with a great philosophy in Belgium for Foodies
1) De Blauwe Spie
The biodynamic farm De Blauwe Spie has been in business in the Westhoek for more than 30 years. Inspired by the ideas of Rudolf Steiner, father Johan Plaetevoet started growing a total of 80 types of vegetables and herbs on two hectares. With his son Mattias joining the farm, De Blauwe Spie is now catering to chefs like Kobe Desramaults by offering them a special variety of edible flowers, broccoli leaves, special beets and unique tomatoes. Vegetable lovers can also find their fruits and vegetables at the weekly Saturday market in Ypres.
The start of the cultivation of oysters in the Ostend region dates back to the 19th century. Back then, the entire Belgian jetset would go crazy for the famous Ostendaise oysters, but after WWI the briny delicacy slowly lost its appeal. Today, oyster farm De Oesterput wants to restore the oyster’s reputation back to its former glory. When you visit, you will obviously be invited to taste some of their jewels.
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3) Ons Logisch Voedsel
Ons Logisch Voedsel is a short-chain vegetable supplier for many of Antwerp’s chefs, so you can be sure that you are buying quality here. Owners Ole Deschout and Maaike Mussche grow as many as 75 vegetable varieties without using heated greenhouses. The harvest of the week always contains at least a dozen varieties. As a private individual, you can either buy a crop share that provides you with a weekly vegetable package, or just hop into the farm shop for a ration of fresh vegetables.
4) Le Monde des Mille Couleurs
Dries Delanote reminds us of Willy Wonka, the way he runs around his organic farm of wonders. Respecting the balance dictated by the seasons, he cultivates ancient herbs, wild flowers, rebellious plants and forgotten vegetables. At Le Monde des Mille Couleurs, Dries and his team work from field to fork, collaborating exclusively with passionate chefs from Dikkebus to Ghent, and from Brussels all the way to Paris and back.
The Hollebeekhoeve produces fresh dairy products from the milk of about 1100 Holstein Friesian dairy cows. A team of 25 employees processes the milk into fresh butter, fresh cheese, yoghurt, (sour) cream, buttermilk and ice cream By means of low-heat pasteurisation, the taste and vitamins of the products remain intact. During your visit, you will be encouraged to experience farm life for yourself and share in the work that these dairy farmers do every day.
6) Het Aspergehuis
Loved by many a Belgian top chef, locally grown asparagus are like pure gold in the kitchen. Looking for an opportunity to uncover the mystery of how this ‘underground’ treasure is produced? A few kilometres from the French border, Ilse Vancraeynest welcomes you into her small-scale Aspergehuis, where you can take part in a workshop teaching you how to wash, sort and bundle the freshly picked asparagus. The soil in Moorsele is both light and sandy, making it particularly suitable for this labour-intensive culture, which focusses on quality over quantity.
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