You only need to visit the Gevers family for coffee to know that these are people who love life, including their food. Jan takes care of that, as head cook in the kitchen. But at the same time, he only uses fresh and organic ingredients, so as to do as little harm as possible to the planet.
“Green beans from Kenya, asparagus from Peru... Not much flavour and a huge environmental footprint: I don’t want to buy that stuff anymore,” sighs Jan over a steaming cup of coffee. “So a couple of years ago I came to a decision: I would provide as many of my ingredients as possible myself.”
“I had a vegetable garden in the garden of our first rented house,” Jan remembers. “This time I wanted to grow my vegetables in raised tubs. The soil in them warms up faster, so the growing season starts earlier. Also, you have less trouble with weeds. And thanks to the netting over my tubs I keep a lot of insects away, with minimum use of biological pesticides.”
At the same time, Jan was brooding on a second plan – no pun intended. “I use a lot of eggs in my cooking,” he explains, “and they must be as organic as possible too.” They also wanted to keep down the mountain of kitchen waste. “So we decided to keep chickens. Since then I’ve started every day with a stroll down to the chicken run, to greet my clucking friends with grain mixed with laying pellets”, he laughs. “So the next day they’ll repay me with delicious eggs with a strong shell!”.