Celebrated by chefs and restaurateurs, the family-run Majlert Farm on the outskirts of Warsaw has long enjoyed a peerless reputation for its eco-minded produce. Speaking to the Insider, Asia Majlert reveals the inner workings of this open foodie secret…
The farm feels… in full bloom in October: we grow lots of vegetables related to the cabbage family so our fields are full of yellow mustard flowers as well as rucola, watercress, fennel and artichoke. It’s also a great time for eggplant and pumpkins, and these forms of veg attract bees and other pollinators – the whole area feels like its buzzing and moving in some way.
The Queen of October… of course, that’s the pumpkin! We love them for their color, their shape, nutritional value and, above all, their taste. It’s also a time for artichokes, and on those rare occasions that the we all gather together, it’s great to serve them over a big family dinner.
My father… loves to experiment with new vegetables. We hear a lot of ideas – some of them pretty wacky – from visitors. Often, they’ve tasted something abroad, tried something weird in a Warsaw restaurant or remembered a taste from childhood. We’re open to hearing ideas, and if we like something then we’ll try our hand at trying it. If it goes wrong and is just too gross to eat, then we’ll sell turn it into a vegetable bouquet!
Our mission… is to grow food that’s healthy, honest and delicious. We look for species that are a little unusual but that can also thrive in the Polish climate: we want to eat well, so quality is something we fundamentally care about.
Our farm… isn’t just a place to buy fresh food, it’s a place to meet people, take a walk, learn something new and exchange recipes – it’s a place to get your shoes muddy! Being so close to Warsaw, I think our farm plays an important role in connecting people to nature.
People… are learning to appreciate nature and her seasonal cycles. We love when visitors to our farm rediscover a special taste or smell from their childhood or global travels.
Myself… I completed a Sociology degree from Warsaw University which, my father likes to joke, makes me more useful to the business. I’m not a farmer personally, so instead I oversee school trips and show people around the fields; I also help out with the outdoor dinners that my brother organizes here. I’m good at smiling, so you’ll find me wherever a friendly face is needed!
Our shop… closes in October and that’s when we invite friends, neighbors and customers for Dzień Szabrownika: everyone can pick what vegetables they find in the fields and take them home for free – it’s great for the community and, from our point of view, it ensures nothing goes to waste. After that, we head off to the mountains – all of us are ski instructors! It enables us to have a complete rest from the world of vegetables and allows us to return in April fully recharged.
ul. Wyspiarska 45, majlert.pl