Cooking from the Garden
Cooking from the garden makes the most of the option for local produce, sustainable food, and cooking with the freshest produce possible. Being able to cut rosemary sprigs for roasted chicken, pick cherry tomatoes for salads straight from the vine, dehydrate herbs to use as tasty garnishes, or add just-picked mint leaves to water, will raise the quality of food and drinks in a restaurant. Though local farms are a great substitute for a cooking garden, allowing produce to be extremely fresh when delivered, the ability for an orange to literally ripen on the branch until minutes before it is eaten, adds a fresh produce component that cannot be outdone.
Committing to “Garden to Table”
Cooking from the garden is undoubtedly a great concept. However, for high-volume, busy restaurants, this option may not be realistic. Having a cooking garden demands the available time and labor, to take care of the produce. For busy businesses, one mint plant will yield about a day’s worth of customers’ water, in the best case scenario, so venues will need the space to allow enough plants to flourish. Many US cities do not have ideal whether for growing herbs. This would require that the plants be grown inside, which again, bring up an issue of available space for a restaurant garden. For smaller businesses, which lots of land, having a cooking garden can raise the level of the dishes they are used in, and lower supply costs. Cooking from the garden is a perfect solution for private events. Businesses catering to small, private meals are expected to have the highest quality ingredients and top-standard dishes. Picking local produce and serving it the same day, will not only allow the business to advertise their farm to table practices, which can draw more customers, but also noticeably improve the level of the food.
Sustainable Food and the Cooking Garden
Sustainable food is becoming increasingly popular due to raised awareness about environmental issues. Local farms have been benefiting from the trend, but it is also a great reason to consider starting a restaurant garden. Not only will a cooking garden be great for public relations and advertising, it will be environmentally friendly and provide an exceptional quality of produce to be used. The farm to table movement as a whole has gained popularity partially due to the many benefits and minimal drawback the option holds. One of the main drawbacks of purchasing local produce is the sometimes elevated price. Having a restaurant garden can help shoulder the financial burdens that purchasing produce from local farms can cause. If a cooking garden is a realistic option for a restaurant, it is a highly recommended investment for quality and publicity.