★ ★ ★ – Phil Vettel


We’re Back….Greenhouse 2012 and more…..

So we have been out of the mix for a bit playing post holiday catch up and waiting out the winter, but Spring is upon us…..at least very soon so we are back and have our first full official season with the Greenhouse. We are very excited to share the full planning process. This year we are fortunate to have a few additional advisors that we have met since we opened who are helping us upgrade our soil mix and plant & propagate our seedlings. Our soil supplies were picked up from Brew N Grow (one in the city and one in Roselle) a great source for organic soils, vermiculite, kelp and other healthy additives at reasonable prices. Thanks to the mild winter we also had some herbs that survived in the greenhouse which we will be bringing back for a second season, wonderful to have this ability.

Our Soil Mix

To date we have cleared out the greenhouse and prepped some new hand made planter boxes, picked up the necessary ingredients for the recommended organic soil mix, designed for greenhouse gardening (thanks Barb & Stacy). We also have received our first two rounds of seeds for planting seedlings from our favs, Seed Savers and Johnny’s Seeds. We also have plans to order some additional herb seeds & plants from Richter’s and of course round out our selection from the Oak Park Conservatory Herb & Plant Sale in May. You can check past blog entries for more info on all of these. Some of the tomatoes and other seedlings we plant will be transferred to Cakeridge Farms (our chefs Ohio farm) for the season. We also have plans to increase our plantable space via more planter boxes inside & outside the patio.

We will also be making some visits to our farm partners in Illinois and John & I will be heading to Italy & Croatia at the end of the month for VinItaly and some other tasting and research as we move into the spring menu & wine list. We will share our experience in a special series of entries in April. We will also be sharing a lot of tips and updates from the greenhouse and more beginning in the next week or so. Glad to be back to the greenhouse and looking forward to sharing our first full season with you.


A Weekend at the Farm – Seeds, Divine Food and Croatian Wines

[dropcap1]S[/dropcap1]o we are back, fresh from a weekend in the Ohio River Valley, filled with some great menu experimentation, lots of discussion about what to plant in the greenhouse and tasting a lot of lush Croatian wines. It was a centering respite from the din and craziness of construction. Since we covered a lot of territory over the three days, we are going to split the blog discussions into two entries. The first will be an update on the greenhouse and seed plans and the second will cover a short intro to Croatian wine and a sneak peek at some of the dishes Beth and Dan whipped up this weekend, like the delicious gigante beans you see here.

We definitely ascribe to the idea that the flavor and benefits of the foods we eat has everything to do with how it is raised or grown. With that said, the earliest discussions about any menu evolve from a discussion of “product” a rather industrial term for the fruits, veggies, meats, spices etc. that are the roots from which any menu grows. In our case this translated directly to developing a plan for what we will grow this year in the greenhouse and at the farm. Once we establish that we can decide which purveyors will fill in the blanks in our spring / summer menu and will share news about those suppliers as we finalize our menu. (more…)