Monday, May 27, 2024

Kitchen Herbs

November 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Food

Kitchen Herbs-Gejo KimenezGejo Jimenez of Kitchen Herbs

What made corporate guy cum national fencing team athlete Gerardo “Gejo” Jimenez give up urban living in exchange to quaint farm life?

When their family’s health was challenged few years ago, Gejo and his wife, Rose, decided to make the big switch to healthier (and greener) choices. They started changing their food choices to fresh, nutritious and healthier, and eventually, started changing their lifestyle, too. From the city they moved to Sta. Rosa in Laguna and started gardening as a hobby.

He started planting herbs when Rose’s family friend from Italy gave them a full-grown rosemary which unexpectedly grew in their garden. Encouraged by it, he started planting other herbs – such as basil and tarragon – in a neighbor’s empty lot.

After two years, he decided to pursue one of his biggest dreams: his own farm. Today, Kitchen Herbs is the nearest organic farm south of Metro Manila that is dedicated solely for growing culinary herbs such as rosemary, parsley and thyme; specialty vegetables such as french beans, cherry tomatoes, baby carrots; salad greens such as mizuna, tatsoi and arugula; lettuce, and;  micro greens such as sprouts.

Kitchen Herbs FarmsRecently transplanted plants

We asked Gejo some of the frequently asked questions in Pinoy Organics about herbs and here are his answers:

1. What are the top benefits of using herbs in cooking?

Flavor, specially with fresh herbs. Food simply tastes better with herbs, especially when you use fresh herbs in cooking. Some dishes are authentic because of the herbs that are used.

Kitchen Herbs-Tarragon2Tarragon grew abundantly in Kitchen Herbs Farm

Herbs are the plants that have the highest concentration of anti-oxidants, which have been established to have properties that help in preventing degenerative diseases, including cancers, cardio-vascular diseases, and even diabetes.

Gejo made us taste this “secret new herb” he is growing for next year’s harvest

The flavor that herbs give to dishes decreases the need for less healthy (if used in excessive quantities) ingredients like salt and sugar.

2. What are Kitchen Herbs’ top 3 bestselling herbs? Cilantro, Flat Leaf Parsley and Thyme

Kitchen Herbs-Gejo showing thyme and other herbsThyme and other herbs love the soil in Kitchen Herbs Farm

3. Some QUICK TIPS in caring and maintenance of herbs in the Philippines

  • Use well-draining soil ( if your soil is clayish, add some sand or cinder to it to improve drainage). Then adjust watering with the weather so that plant does not dry out, nor stay very wet for extended periods of time. Don’t put too much organic compost – compost absorbs more moisture.

    Kitchen Herbs-Gejo showing rich soilGejo showed us their healthy and chemical-free soil

  • Herbs usually need a lot of sun. Place it in a spot that has at least half a day of direct sunlight, or more.
  • Don’t over-cut leaves. If you use too much, there might be a “bonsai effect”. Plant will become smaller, with smaller leaves.
  • Don’t use chemical fertilizers, etc. The essential oil content will be less concentrated, hence less flavor. Besides, it’s good to go organic and natural.
  • Cut out dead parts of the herbs to encourage new growth (specially with mint).

To date, Gejo owns a one hectare farm in Sta. Rosa, Laguna and supplies hotels, restaurants and several other regular clienteles.

Kitchen Herbs-trays of sproutsSprouts

Catch Gejo at the Pinoy Organics section in Mercato Centrale on Nov. 21 and 27.

If you were asked to grow your own herbs, name 3 herbs you think you will plant first and why?

Gejo Jimenez
Soft opening on Nov. 21, 6am – 12noon
Nov. 27, 28
Dec. 3, 4, 5, 10-12; 17-19; 24 and 31

UPDATE (as of 1/5/11): Kitchen Herbs will be @Mercato Centrale every Sunday 6am-2pm
30th cor 9th Ave.
Bonifacio Global City
(Back of The Spa)
Schedule:  Weekends, 6am til 2pm


2 Responses to “Kitchen Herbs”
  1. Cabiokid says:

    Niece article and the place seems great. Really want to visit him, already send him an email 😉
    Thanks for all this,


  2. Aria Chelabian says:

    Do you have any growing tips for Rosemary? the rainy weather of Philippines is making growing these perenial herbs a bit tough. appreciate any form of advise :)by the way, what do you call those white sheets you use to cover your sprouts?

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