An Innovative Micro Farm at Restaurant in Brooklyn
A pair of quails, mascots of sorts for Olmsted, watch over the garden and provide eggs.
By Annie Quigley
September 15, 2016
(Must see. Mike)
A buzzy new restaurant in Brooklyn is condensing today’s biggest food trends (farm-to-table, sustainability, no-waste) into a tiny backyard garden. At Olmsted, named for the famous landscape architect who designed nearby Prospect Park, chef Greg Baxtrom (formerly at Per Se and Blue Hill at Stone Barns) and farmer Ian Rothman (the former horticulturist at New York’s Atera restaurant) have cultivated a self-sustaining micro-farm—complete with an aquaponics system in a clawfoot bathtub. Plus: The space transforms into an oasis in which to sip garden-fresh cocktails, every dish on the menu is under $24, and a donation is made to nonprofit GrowNYC for every meal eaten. Here, a look inside this clever kitchen garden.
Baxtrom and Rothman built the backyard micro-farm themselves. The garden is centered on a horseshoe-shaped pine planter surrounded by a perimeter of beds. “We wanted one area that was pretty and would display examples from the menu, and one area that could function as an annual rotation,” says Baxtrom. In the way that an open kitchen might provide a behind-the-scenes view of dinner being cooked, the central bed provides an up-close-and-personal view of dinner being grown. A wood stove in the corner warms the space on cool nights.