Mark van Hove’s horticultural farm
On his veganic farm, Mark van Hove grows a large variety of crops, particularly herbs, edible flowers, fruits, grapes and also sweet potatoes. He gives a lot of space for nature and biodiversity, both along the the fields (hedges, wide flower strips, ponds and canals) and on the fields themselves.
In the culinary world edible flowers are gaining more and more popularity. However, many chefs and cooking enthusiasts prefer flowers that have not been in contact with chemical pesticides or fertilisers derived from animal husbandry. So they look out for produce from organic and purely plant-based cultivation just like those they can find on Mark van Hove’s garden farm.
Herbs and edible flowers for “The Foodmaker”
Mark van Hove grows trendy and ordinary fresh herbs and flowers for the Belgian lunch chain The Foodmaker, a company that since 2004 has been providing ultra-fresh and delicious meals with ingredients that come from their own organic fields as much as possible. They are known for the Vedge Bags and many lunch restaurants under their brand name in Belgium and Flanders.
Biocyclic vegan certification
“Mark van Hove’s farm is actually preparing to be certified according to the Biocyclic Vegan Standard and will soon be the first organic operation in Flanders to bear the Biocyclic Vegan Quality Seal,” said conversion supervisor Joep Peteroff. “In cultivating in a purely vegan manner and in respecting the high biodiversity targets required by the Biocyclic Vegan Standard, it will hold a prominent position among the organic growers in Flanders.” According to Axel Anders of the International Biocyclic Vegan Network it is only a matter of time that more growers will follow this development and apply for the Biocyclic Vegan Quality Seal.
Mark is looking forward to having the certification process completed in spring 2021: “With the certificate in hand, I can then visibly propagate that growing without animal manure is fine and that our products are grown sustainably and safely.”