Edible plants

A day full of secrets about edible plants

People need plants. We use them for all sorts of purposes, not least to eat! Plants give our food colour and flavour. This package focuses on one of the most pleasurable human activities: eating, and the role of plants in that. A delicious lunch is not to be missed here. For the afternoon programme, you can choose from four fascinating locations, each with a close link to food and drink.

The programme:

  • 9.45: Arrival at the Botanic Garden, at the Empress Charlotte entrance, where an enthusiastic guide awaits the group.
  • 10.00: Our guide walks with your group via the Medieval Garden, through the Fragrance and Colour Garden, to the Culinary Garden. You will learn all about our eating habits, from the past to the present, as well as our Belgian food culture. We conclude with a friendly aperitif on the terrace, after which we walk to the Orangery.
  • 11.30: Lunch in the Orangery. Two options: a tasty salad or hot meal, or an extensive shared lunch. More info (link no menu)
  • 13.00: The group takes the little train to the Plant Palace. We pass our bees; their honey can be bought in the Garden Shop.
  • 13.20: Visit to the Plant Palace. Discover the banana tree and the coconut palm. The guide will tell you how plants have changed the destiny of humans, or was it the other way round?
  • 14.00: Walk to the exit (15min) and  a visit to the Garden Shop.
  • 14.30: Departure to afternoon location - via personal transport.
  • 15.00-17.00: Visit to the afternoon location of your choice, with a local guide; 
    • Palm Brewery
    • Hof ter Vrijlegem
    • Wine estate De Kluizen
    • Vineyard André Dierickx

Made your choice? The cost of the chosen lunch is included in the rate; the price depends on the option chosen.  You can find reservation info and prices here

More info about the afternoon locations:

With its copper-coloured Palm and its golden Cornet, Steenhuffel is a haven for beer lovers. In the Palm brewery and the De Hoorn microbrewery you will discover how the interplay of water, barley, hops, herbs, yeast, and even oak creates a pleasant and surprising brewing experience. You will take part in a tasting, of course, but you will also learn how the introduction of hops and different fermentation methods created the Belgian brewing culture.  

During a one and a half hour tour you will discover just how fascinating beer can be. We combine the brewery visit with a visit to Stoeterij Diepensteyn, the home of the Brabant draught horse. 

At Hof Ter Vrijlegem in Mollem everything revolves around rapeseed. Ann and Peter’s rapeseed oil is a culinary delight, ideal for both hot and cold meals. The oil is extracted from carefully sorted seeds from their own cultivation and according to their own developed method, which further accentuates the nutty flavour. Bottling is also done on site.  

After a cup of coffee/tea and home-made cake, the group is given an explanation of the cultivation, the process, and the applications. This is followed by a tour of the farm with demonstrations and tastings.

In Domein de Kluizen in Affligem, rows of vines ripen in the sun. Wine is produced here: white, red, rosé, and sparkling. The grape varieties are those which reach full maturity in our climate and so can develop their full aroma. Herman Troch's absolute specialty is the Optima Nobelzoet wine, a sweet, white wine that comes out like a Sauterne. With the help of the Botrytis fungus, the grapes dry out and this creates the unique taste. Herman Troch is the only winemaker in the country to use this method.

The group visits the vineyard, with explanations from an expert, followed by a visit to the winery with a tasting of four different wines. The trip to the winery (5km) is done via personal transport.

Not possible on Wednesdays, max. of 30 participants.

In Opwijk you will find the vineyard of André Dierickx. He planted the first vines in 2009, and in 2014 he bottled the first bottles of white wine; a powerful, fruity Johanniter, recognised by the Recognition Commission Flanders as a Flemish Country Wine. Since 2020, André Dierickx has also been presenting a soft, aromatic Pinot Gris and a red wine made from the Cabernet Dorsa grape in addition to the Johanniter.  

The visit starts in the vineyard, with explanations from an expert, followed by a visit to the vinification room where the wine is made. To finish there will be a tasting of 3 wines in the shop. Distance approx. 1 km on foot or via personal transport.

Max. of 20 participants.

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