There are five kinds of herbal/vegetable flowers in this photo, can you guess what they are? Dill, coriander, wild arugula, tarragon and alugbati. Seriously. It rarely gets better than this… just a part of the loot from a quick visit to Gejo Jimenez’s Malipayon Farms in Silang, Cavite. I was on my way to the beach in Nasugbu for a photo shoot for a snazzy magazine (I provided a few dishes, they used them as decor for a story about a beachside picnic or meal), and I asked Gejo if I could drop by his farm to pick up whatever he thought was freshest and most interesting… and these were some of the goodies I took away from the farm that morning.
A small detour from the main route between Manila and Nasugbu, the farm was in FINE condition, with plots filled with wonderful produce. The best time for farms in Silang is between January and April, I gather, with the cool weather helping many of the crops reach peak condition before the very hot and dry summer season sets in… It was so refreshing to just wander about the farm (I was there a few minutes ahead of schedule and waited for Gejo to arrive) in the cool conditions and I just kept snapping shots of this and that…
Some of the vibrant leaves of lettuce to the left, and young carrot greens to the right.
A patch of vibrant flat-leaf Italian parsley.
Sweet basil plants.
Kale, I think.
A bush I first thought were blueberries, but Gejo said they were some African green past their prime. Gejo, please leave a comment with the name of this plant, I have forgotten yet again. Thanks. :)
A close-up of the berries or fruit.
The lushest patch of coriander I have seen…they are notoriously hard to grow during the rainy season.
Some freshly harvested stalks of lemongrass or tanglad.
A small healthy clump of thyme, also notoriously hard to keep going in hot, then rainy weather.
Some spinach – Gejo sells baby and full grown spinach leaves. They are SPECTACULAR in salads.
Some swiss chard.
A hedge of ginger or galanggal.
The stunningly beautiful blooms of a dill plant.
Equally stunning but a bit powdery white flowers of overgrown wansoy or coriander.
A close-up of the coriander blooms, and the green immature coriander seeds. Cool, huh? :)
Blooming tarragon, who would have thought they would have such pretty blooms?
Mature arugula plants gone to flower and seed…
…and last, but not least, the unusual blooms of alugbati, which taste like a really mild version of adult alugbati leaves. Many, many thanks to Gejo Jimenez for allowing me to visit and pick up a LOT of spectacular produce. Not all of it would be used the next day (in fact, the photo shoot was postponed by a day due to inclement weather) but I was happy to have such a wonderful selection to choose from.