I paid a visit to our friends at Haven Gastropub in Old Town Orange the other day. Earlier this year, we built them a few very cool planter boxes that are arranged behind the restaurant, where they are growing a variety of herbs that are used in their daily preparations. It’s very cool and rewarding to see a client getting so much use from what we helped them create! According the Chef Greg, they use the basil, thyme, and parsley pretty much daily in a variety of dishes (and, apparently deserts - he says they make candied basil!), and the mojito mint (one of my personal favorites) gets quite a bit of use as well, both in the kitchen and the bar! They also have rosemary and dill growing that gets used often too.
Haven is a great example of small steps businesses and people can take towards sustainability. Herbs and veggies are incredibly easy to grow, and by doing so, you sort of shift yourself towards a healthier lifestyle overall - check out my earlier blog post about how growing certain foods can inspire you to cook - action creates more action, and by growing some of your own food and herbs, you become more in sync with concepts connected to eating locally, eating seasonally, gardening and the ecology of your home environment. A great book, btw, on this subject, is Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: a Year of Food Life, we recommend it highly!
We’ll be replenishing the Haven boxes in the weeks to come; in southern California, there is never a ‘wrong’ time (well, maybe when it’s a 105 degrees out!) to start and herb and veggie garden. We have a LOT of cool season herbs and veggies in right now - stop by and check them out, or email us for help and ideas in starting your own small ‘good food garden’, we’d love to help you out!
And, if you do pay us a visit, give yourself some extra time and stop by Haven as well - great food and drinks, and good people!