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Discover Soilmates eco-campaign in Brussels on 12-13 September

Soilmates-Smala Farming
09:26 29/08/2021
Discover more about the soil project via performances, workshops, talks and tastings

For its second edition, the groundbreaking agricultural, culinary and artistic project Soilmates is running two days of events in Brussels on 12 and 13 September.

The Belgian movement brings together artisan chefs, farmers, scientists, philosophers, anthropologists and artists in a bid to raise awareness about the risk of intensive farming. Aimed at protecting the fertile top layer of soil for growing healthy vegetables and plants, they also promote the culinary and cultural heritage of Belgium and neighbouring countries.

On Sunday 12 September, participants are invited to visit three green locations in Anderlecht (preferably by bike): Smala Farming (pictured above), the gardens of Erasmus House and Le Champignon de Bruxelles (pictured below). Through lectures, artistic performances, workshops and tastings, members of the Soilmates collective will take the audience on a journey to the hidden – and living – world beneath our feet.

Le Champignon de Bruxelles

On Monday 13 September, 22 like-minded restaurants, cafes, delis and wine bars in the capital open their doors and share their philosophy of protecting the soil via food and drink tastings. Locations include: Soilmates breakfast @MOK; Lunches @ALBERT, @BRUT , @FAUVETTE, @LE DILLENS, @LE LOCAL, @MOK; Dinners @BARGE, @BELGOBON, ETHYLO, JORAN, CHABROL, MALOMA (Schaerbeek’s Soilmates collective) @FAUVETTE, @FRANK, @HUMUS & HORTENSE, @LE DILLENS, @LE LOCAL, @LES PETITS BOUCHONS, @SMALA, @TARZAN, @TERO (food market between 17.00-22.00). Other Soilmates experiences: @LA FRUITIERE cheese shop (an afternoon of tastings with cheeses from regenerative farms) @TITULUS wine bar (tastings with natural wines).

Le Monde des Milles Couleurs near Ypres

The Soilmates collective is an initiative by four people from Belgium’s culinary world: Caroline Baerten and Nicolas Decloedt from the award-winning Brussels plant-based gastronomy restaurant Humus x Hortense; performance designer Alexandra Swenden; and organic wild farmer Dries Delanote who supplies fresh produce to top chefs from his eco-farm Le Monde des Milles Couleurs in West Flanders. More than 300 people participated in Soilmates' inaugural event in 2020 at Delanote’s farm (pictured above; photo Michael Depestele).

Says Baerten: “A soil full of life is essential for the maintenance of all life, both above and below the ground. Following the sustainable guidelines of the United Nations (SDGs), we in Belgium also want to advocate a new food system from the soil up in which regenerative agriculture plays an essential role.”

Soilmates programme
12 September, 10.00-18.00: €55 entrance ticket (conferences, workshops, performances, lunch and drink). Reservations via the Soilmates website
13 September: Reservations directly via the participating venue

Written by Sarah Crew