Farm to Fort menu blog 2
Our second farm visit was to Chispalos Urban Hydroponics, one we have been working with for at least a year now. To support local farmers, producers and fishermen in Curacao during these ‘Corona times’, we created a three course ‘Farm to Fort’ menu for you to enjoy!
“From Farm to Table” a slogan that brings a smile to your face, right?
It makes words like “healthy”, “fresh” and “natural” pop up in your head and makes you think about how your ancestors used to eat. Produce fresh from the land on your plate, wouldn’t it be wonderful to enjoy food that way? Fort Nassau’s kitchen staff thinks so!
There are various farms on the island where people with a passion for agriculture grow the nicest veggies and herbs. Who are those idealists with green fingers, what moves them and what produce do they grow? We went “farm hopping” to see, smell, taste and touch and to listen to the interesting stories from the people who make it all happen.
Chispalos Urban Hydroponics
Today Chef Thomas, Emerson and Shanaz visited the small hydroponics farm Chispalos. All the micro greens, mint, rosemary and basil used at Fort Nassau is delivered weekly by Roberto, your most friendly, funny, warm-hearted farmer.
Organic but not officially
Just of the main road, you will find Roberto’s two greenhouses. Built up from scratch and an ‘ever-growing’ farm, even during ‘Corona times’. Roberto is still very optimistic as he shows us around and explains passionately about his many types of herbs and greens. At Chispalos they use the ‘hydrophonics’ system. Although there are no pesticides or other aggressive chemicals used, because the plants are not planted in soil, the produce can’t officially get the label ‘organic’.
Funfact: the orange plates you see hanging all around are smeared with Vaseline! to attract the tiniest white flies that otherwise land on the crops.
Seed or clone…
In addition to buying organic seeds, Roberto also uses a ‘cloning’ method for new plants as a quicker method of cultivation. Herbs that are frequently cloned are mint and rosemary. The salad we use from Chispalos is from a non-GMO seed and takes 2 months from planting to harvesting. Micro greens are faster growers and do very well in the hydroponics system, and they decorative and delicious on the plates!
Why plant this and not that…that’s the question! Roberto visits many restaurants and that is how he gets his ideas for new crops. Chefs bring herbs from abroad and he will try to clone them, or they tip him about a new kind of pepper which he will then try to grow. In short, a real enthusiast and hard worker! And the chefs at the Fort are happy campers when his quality greens come in, fresh, healthy and tasty.
Be sure to follow us on facebook for our next farm visit! Please scroll down for the ‘Farm to Fort’ menu.