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Who’s Got The Herbs: Gourmet Garden grows fresh spices

Photo : László Balkányi/We Love Budapest
Who's Got The Herbs: Gourmet Garden grows fresh spices

What happens when a few gardeners, biologists, engineers, landscape architects, and economists start experimenting together? They establish a small company, move into an empty historic building in Buda, cultivate its garden, and then deliver special spices to restaurants, hotels, and offices in Budapest – or anywhere with people who love plants and fresh ingredients.

Hidden behind a copse of pine trees stands Lövőház, in the place of a clay mine beside former brickworks since 1880. The restaurant and coffeehouse of the German-Renaissance building, constructed after the plans of Antal Hofhauser, used to attract masses of visitors. Once the people of Buda played sports and had parties here, but now there is a small Hungarian company, Gourmet Garden, cultivating its special plants on these venerable premises.
Photo: László Balkányi/We Love Budapest
Their key products – running under the brand name Grofie – are grown using customized containers with lights built into the top that function like real sunlight, which shines differently in the morning, evening, spring and fall. They deliver the plants to restaurants, hotels and office buildings. The plant capsules not only look good, but also smell nice and can be a perfect accessory, say, a cocktail bar. Undoubtedly, no chef or bar mixer can find fresher ingredients than those growing at their fingertips.

Photo: László Balkányi/We Love Budapest
Photo: László Balkányi/We Love Budapest

We could purchase similar, futuristic-looking systems from abroad until now as well – however, this company runs a well-thought-out service as a bonus. They deliver these life-support systems to customers on a subscription basis, so there is an annual fee which also includes them changing “used” plants every three days.

Photo: László Balkányi/We Love Budapest
Photo: László Balkányi/We Love Budapest

They offer over 50 kinds of plants: in their “micro green” series, in which we get a CD-sized planter, there are ordinary spices like basil, coriander or dill, while their “grofie life” line, which comes with the special containers, includes vegetables and berries as well.
There is a third line, called “green consult”, available on their website. It is not possible to set up a green wall anywhere, but with their pocket-magnet solution, any workplace can attain a colorful and calming atmosphere. In addition to the “veggie wall”, they can also build urban gardens and have special offers for street food places – among many features.
Photo: László Balkányi/We Love Budapest
The initiative is still so new that many are just beginning to learn about it – which is a problem, because most of them only dare to order “simpler” plants. Let’s take an example of the Gourmet Garden team by experimenting in the kitchen, and admiring the plants when we are not using them! Or learn more about their services by contacting them.