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Restaurants get a little greener

mixedErica Gillespie tends to lettuce growing in planter boxes at Mixt Greens in Los Angeles. (Mark Boster, Los Angeles Times)

Some are growing produce on site, buying from eco-conscious farmers, installing water filtration systems, recycling grease and more.

By Mary MacVean,
Los Angeles Times
March 9, 2010


When Neal and Amy Knoll Fraser move their restaurant Grace downtown to the rectory of St. Vibiana’s later this year, diners will be hard-pressed to miss the earth-to-table connection.

Fraser intends to plant a garden — and not just a few containers of herbs, but 450 to 500 square feet, right outside, cater-corner from Los Angeles Police Department headquarters. It will be tended by the kitchen staff, and Fraser says it could yield as much as a quarter of the produce for his kitchen. He’s eyeing a parking lot for more garden space.

As they renovate the rectory — more than a century old, with hand-painted ceilings and arched walkways — to build a 100-seat restaurant with patio dining, an upstairs bar and four private dining rooms, they plan to use paints with low or no volatile organic compounds, to install cisterns so water from designated prep sinks can irrigate the garden. And they’ll make compost. Fraser has an idea for taking diners into the garden to pick, say, five ingredients for a tasting menu.

See the rest of the article here.