How restaurants and cafes can grow their own food

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As more people eat out these days, restaurants and cafes are thriving businesses.

These businesses are in the position to drive change in the way we eat and sustain our planet.

As a result, many food establishments are adopting sustainable and eco-friendly approaches to creating food.

This food is organic and fresh, made from fruits, vegetables and herbs grown by the restaurant.

There are many farm-to-fork restaurants around the world along with upscale urban restaurants that serve food created from produce grown in their edible gardens.

And you can be one of them.

Here is how you can get started and five ideas you can implement for growing your own edible garden.

1. Grow herbs

This is one of the easiest ways to start growing your own produce.

Restaurants need herbs to add flavour and for garnishing. Herbs also add that delicious aroma to meals.

Start with the herbs you need most such as Basil, Chives, Oregano, Parsley and Rosemary.

Use the containers of herbs to create a beautiful green hedge around your seating area or grow them outside the kitchen.

If space is a problem, you can create a little urban herb garden anywhere. Plant herbs in pots and containers, grow them on the rooftop or create a beautiful wall garden inside your restaurant.

2. Rooftop gardens

Rooftops are a valuable estate for edible gardens for restaurants and cafés.

You can grow vegetables and herbs and even plant fruit trees on rooftops.

Start with a plan and consider the dimensions of the space available and weight allowance for your rooftop garden. Also, remember to get all the right permits.

Use lightweight pots and containers including lightweight potting soil instead of regular garden soil.

Plan on windbreakers such as sturdy fruit trees. Build a latticed support or trellises to slow the disruptive flow of the wind.

Plan on how you will get water to the rooftop to water the garden.

Rooftop gardens are also great for the urban environment as they improve air quality, provide a haven for local birds and butterflies and create a green outdoor space that produces food.

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3. Planters and pots

You can even start growing your edible garden in pots, containers and planter boxes. Use light-weight large containers and fill it with organic soil for organic plants and good flavours.

You can also use self-watering planters on your rooftop, in your garden space or in the outdoor seating area.

Grow plants and herbs that you use in your restaurant.

Arrange containers around the restaurant and blend it in with your restaurant ambience inside and outdoors.

4. Vertical gardens

With space being scarce, vertical gardens are a fantastic way to grow your edible garden.

You can develop a vertical garden wall with planters or invest in modular vertical systems.

The multi-award winning vertical garden container growing system called The Garden Tower is an efficient way to grow organic food in your establishment. It also has the benefits of vermicomposting incorporated in the system.

There are also hydroponic tower kits and stacked vertical garden kits which do a great job of growing herbs, salad leaves and vegetables.

5. Greenhouse garden

Mini greenhouses are great for growing certain vegetables, salad greens and micro-herbs in small spaces.

Lean-to greenhouses are especially good for an organic garden and can be placed right outside your kitchen.

Use typical glass greenhouses instead of plastic and polycarbonate ones to grow your organic edible garden.

There are so many ways in which you can grow your own organic vegetables and fruits in your restaurant or cafe.

It best to adopt a method that is ideally suited for your space and food requirements.

So let’s start growing!

 
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Photos by: Markus Spiske and chuttersnap