"They didn't take me seriously at first but now it's dramatically changed, especially since last year." Peter van Wijgerden specializes in breeding special primrose varieties throughout the year, but in spring time his greenhouse is filled with edible flowers for 3 months. This year he has significantly expanded his range, bringing his total to 10 different varieties.Peter in the greenhouse between the edible flowers
Peter launched the Look & Taste concept back in 2009, starting with just one plant: the garden nasturtium. A couple of years on he reintroduced the concept because of the growing interest in the product and also because his company is now MPS-Fruit & Vegetables certified - a condition to market edible greenhouse products. "It's really strange. A few years ago I was at a trade show with a bowl full of garden nasturtiums and none of the traders tried it. It just didn’t fit in the culture. Eating a flower was ‘not done’. Now it's different. Consumers want them and we, growers and traders, have to listen."Photos: Look & TasteConcept first
For Peter it’s primarily about the concept and not the plant or flower. "These aren’t violets that just happen to be edible. No, we sell Look & Taste and add a violet. Or a Tropaeolum or Calendula. It’s about the experience, picking flowers at home, working with the plant. If you take proper care of it, you can enjoy the plant for months. A garden nasturtium holds until October if you give it a bit of care."Cultivation
Edible flowers are seasonal products. "The greenhouse is filled with edible flowers during three months of the year, from mid-March through mid-June. During those months we continuously want to have a handful of those 10 species available. The other, often trickier species, sort of revolve around it. When the season’s run its course we disinfect the greenhouse and return to the primroses."Presentation at IntratuinPromotion
Peter has launched a website to promote the Look & Taste
concept with the consumer in mind. "We want to roll it out as widely as possible. Every cart that leaves here takes a poster with it. We have USB sticks available at all sale sites containing all conceivable consumer information. Every plant has a label with a link to the website. On the website consumers can find all kinds of examples and ideas as to presentation and culinary possibilities. (An example: Meringue with blueberries, blackberries and edible violets).
We also have posters hanging at Intratuin, at Waterdrinker’s cash & carry and at various exporters. And we’re also trying to have our offer along as many roads as possible, to maximize brand awareness."
For more information:Look & Taste
Peter van Wijgerden
5314 BN Brunchem