Nothing is taking off faster than urban farming at the moment: on your balcony or any unused piece of ground you can get your hands on. Any restaurant worth its stars is also cultivating its own kitchen garden nowadays. And with good reason. Fresh herbs, just off the plot, definitely provide the best flavors. It’s not incredibly difficult to grow your own herbs. But not everyone has the time, space or minimum of green fingers required for successful gardening. So: What if the supermarket does the gardening for you?
Albert Heijn is the first supermarket in the Netherlands with instore farming. The flavor of fresh herbs straight out of the soil, combined with the easy access offered by supermarkets, could be every easygoing foodie’s dream. The biggest supermarket chain in the Netherlands, Albert Heijn, is taking on this experiment with the ingeniously made Help-yourself Herb Garden, designed by studiomfd.
In this herb garden you as a shopper get to harvest the herbs yourself in a mini-greenhouse where the herbs are brought when they’ve reached the final stage of the growing process. Customers can pick the herbs themselves, picking exactly what they need. You can pick two big handfuls of mint to make tea for your friends who are coming to visit, or three sprigs of rosemary, if that’s all you want. And of course there’s an unobtrusive little water tap, where you can wash the soil off your hands after harvest.
Photography by Johannes van Assem