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What’s Hot & Cool? #30: Restaurants Growing Their Own Menu

From farm-to-table and table-to-farm.

What’s happening? Hyper-local farming is in focus this year, according to the National Restaurant Association, and farming innovations erupting in urban spaces, are making room for greens to grow on-site or on limited land. Aeroponic farming (growing plants vertically) and hydroponic gardens (growing plants in nutrient-rich water) are just two techniques gaining clout in 2017.  And some farmers (and retailers) are taking their expertise to the next level by starting their own restaurants or farming ingredients for their own menus from their own fields, towers, and rooftop gardens. And who should we be watching? Women farmers. Professor of Sociology Anna Rachel Terman told Civil Eats that women face a land gap when it comes to agriculture. With less capital and less land access, more women are going sustainable and organic on small plots.

Why should you care? If you’re a female farmer, consider the benefits of selling produce to a restaurant outside of farmers markets and grocery stores. If you’re a restaurant owner, finding farm-to-table options may change your restaurant’s brand and reputation for the better.

Who’s leading? Dana Tanner founded Restauration (restaurant + restore) based on the value that food should be made fresh and sourced locally. Tanner and Chef Philip Pretty get nearly everything they need for their menu from a 1,000-square-foot garden several miles up the street from their restaurant in Long Beach, California and rely on local farmers for the rest to supplement their seasonal menu.

What can you do? Consider how local businesses impact your community evaluate how you can support them. As a business owner, find partners and investors that share your vision. Grants for female farmers are available. Check out this site to learn more.