It seems like only yesterday that Roger Holliday and I shook hands and agreed that I would come here and be the chef of SpringHouse. In that agreement there was mention of a garden. It has taken a few years, but it has started to take true form. We planned the community garden last spring with 10 raised beds. We thought that would be enough, but we were wrong. Before it was all said and done, we started the garden season with 18 raised beds. Like most new things, we had to work out some kinks, we are continuing to make corrections where needed, but the key is we are still growing.
In addition to the 18 beds we began last year, we have added four more, for a total of 22. Maintenance of each bed is the responsibility of the owner, with the exception of watering which will be done by a sprinkler system. Also, now growing inside the fences of the garden are muscadines, scuppernongs, kiwis, pomegranates, figs, apples, pears and peaches. SpringHouse is also growing a garden this year, I have put the responsibility of planting and tending the garden on the kitchen staff. Every Tuesday, we meet on our own time to help take care of the chores that need to be done. Our focus is on heirloom tomatoes, but we also have a few lettuces, squash and cucumbers growing as well.
Another thing that I’m very excited to see is our composting program at the restaurant. All compostable material, which would normally go in the trash, is now going into our compost pile. The resulting compost will be used for other planting projects in the future. Gardening is very rewarding. Yes, it takes a little work, but at the end of the day, you are left with a sustainable food source that you grew and you know where your food came from.
— Rob McDaniel, Executive Chef