Philippines: Planting a greenhouse in the middle of the city

Wanting to reduce their carbon footprint while sustainably accelerating the farm-to-table pace, Gallery by Chele recently launched its Greenhouse, an organic garden chef Chele Gonzalez set up on the open deck right behind his restaurant in a BGC high-rise.

“When in the city all around is construction, we don’t believe that much in cement, we believe more in nature,” says the Spanish chef. “We want to challenge ourselves to be more interactive with nature and respect the environment.”

With the help of his team, like chefs Carlos Villaflor and Borja Sanchez, Gonzalez put up vertical plant boxes and clay pots to organically grow around 40 kinds of herbs, vegetables, vines and small trees; there’s even a wall covered in pako, the edible fern so popular in Filipino salads.

“I’m very happy to know many farmers here,” Chele says. “This year we took the big step of having the test kitchen. We’re starting to work with farmers on seasonality in the Philippines, what are the ingredients that are endemic and make a calendar documenting these endemic and seasonal ingredients.”

Read more at The Philippine Star (Therese Jamora-Garceau)

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