We work directly with farmers as well as growing ourselves so our approach to food can focus on sustainabilty and longevity for us and the next generation.
The hard truth is that restaurants by their nature are not sustainable. We consume vast amounts of produce to service even the most modest of dining rooms. The challange is providing to our guests while maintaining a more enviromentally balanced approach to how we use food.
Our first step was the 'support local' initiative where our sole focus was to support our region by only using produce from within a certain radius of our pub. In this way we could at least give back to our immediate community.
Now we shift gears, while continuing to work with the fantastic local purveyors and producers whose relationships we have nurtured over time, we want to broaden our scope and work with farmers whose farming practices are more sustainable and organic.
Lots of the famers we work with have for some time used an approach of "regenerative farming" where you return fertility to the soil after harvest.
More and more we are interested in where our food comes from. We also feel it is as important to know and understand how that food was produced.
Where we grow from here.
We are learning different growing techniques, what to plant when, when to harvest, how to increase yield, how we can grow to service the restaurant, how we can alternate growing 'drills' to maintain soil health and lots more.
We currently grow in boxes at The White Horse, these plants tend to be things that require a bit more attention since we still work full time our more 'needy' plants need to be close by.
We also have an allotment which we get to two or three times a week, the plants here require less hands on time.
We have also just planted our small holding which we check twice a week. The small holding forms part of Greg's Forge Farm which is certified organic. Greg has been instrumental in helping us learn and understand growing times and more importantly techniques to maintain that all important soil!
For us growing in this way and working direct with farmers who themselves work in a more sustainable way is not a trend. It is the only way we see a real future for our industry. The exciting part for us is . . .we have only just begun.