Social Enterprise Bahay Kubo Organics Teaches Us Soil-less Planting and How to Eat Healthy Without OverspendingJune 17, 2015
Organic food has been on the rise in the past year, and I am certainly not complaining. With more restaurants following the farm-to-table trend, dishes made from grass-fed meat, fresh fruits and vegetables, and all-natural, healthy ingredients are easier to find. Going healthy with gourmet is definitely good news for people looking for a compromise to unreasonably tasteless diets. But the bad news comes when the waiter arrives with the check in hand.
It’s no secret that healthy isn’t cheap. But why shouldn’t it be? Bahay Kubo Organics (BKO), a group of urban farmers growing organic produce within the city, tries to remedy the holes in our pockets by making it their mission to teach us how to start farms in the city. With aquaponics—farming technology that combines aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics (soil-less growing), they hope to make the sourcing of organic ingredients as easy as walking over to your own backyard.
Despite having no experience in farming whatsoever, Ryan Aguas, Enzo Pinga, and Ilian Pascual began Bahay Kubo Organics as their own little post-grad project. It was a small effort to try and help build sustainable communities in the Philippines by changing the way people had access to their food. Today, their small venture has grown, with farms in Las Piñas, Payatas, Quiapo, Negros, Guiuan, and Palawan.
They also try to spread the word about hydroponics, and share the technology with locals by holding workshops for all who are interested, whether in making this a livelihood or a hobby. But one of BKO’s main projects right now is B.K. Eats—which, for now, is an affordable high-quality, healthy comfort food delivery service around the Las Piñas area.
They work on a two-meal menu, designed by their chef, Joseph Hernandez, who offers different sets of dishes daily. This menu changes every four months, depending on the fresh produce in season. B.K. Eats also makes it a point to have all their dishes priced at a reasonable PHP 109.
We’ve tried one of their menus: the Week 2, Thursday meal called The Bird—a grilled, rosemary chicken sandwich that comes with mustard, tomatoes, lettuce, and served with a side of popcorn. The simple, herb-infused, tangy flavors were complemented well by the lightly salted popcorn—it is a combination that makes sense, and it is certainly worth the price. We also had a taste of their Tearragon—an iced tarragon and mint tea drink that proved to be truly refreshing.
Right now, BKO and the B.K. Eats team are looking to help their social enterprise expand by turning their small food delivery kiosk into a larger urban farm, with allotted space for a restaurant, a full-sized kitchen, as well as a workshop space for urban farming and aquaponics.
Have you tried Bahay Kubo Organics or B.K. Eats? Tell us about your experience with a comment below!
To help fund this project, they set-up a crowdfunding site on The Spark Project. For more information, and if you’re interested in funding the project, click on this link: http://launch.thesparkproject.com/bk-eats