Farm-to-table is a food trend that brings healthy, sustainable food options from the growing fields to diners who want to know where their food comes from. Restaurant gardens can provide a living tapestry of healthy food, just steps away from the dining table.
According to a recent report in the National Restaurant Association, one third of 2,000 chefs surveyed named gardens as a top trend. Many restaurants have found that it costs them less to grow their own produce than to buy it elsewhere and have it shipped. It also gives chefs more control over quality, providing the added flexibility to adjust menus with what is currently in season. A restaurant garden adds a personal touch that you certainly don’t experience in a fast-food chain restaurant.
With the E.Coli outbreak that has killed at least 18 people across Europe, and the banning of importing raw vegetables from some European countries, the question of food safety brings up health issues that make the concept of restaurant gardens not just trendy, but a downright healthy eating out option.
Most restaurants start with small gardens and grow a few basics – lettuce, tomatoes, peppers and herbs. The limitations of the growing season, the available space, and the amount of staff needed to tend the garden, will dictate how much “farm to table” food service can be provided.
With the cost, convenience, control, sustainability factor, and the knowledge that food can be served without pesticides or artificial fertilizers, the trend of restaurant gardens is one “green cuisine” direction worth heading in.
Have you experienced eating at a “farm to table” restaurant?