Harvest Table Farm
Harvest Table Farm • The Harvest Table Farm is designed not only to supply our restaurant with produce, but the facility also operates as a demonstration farm, serving an education and visitation role in our community. We welcome visitors • Located one hour from The Mast Farm Inn.
Because the needs of a restaurant are very different from the needs of direct-sales, we have begun a new chapter in the Harvest Table story, breaking ground on our own restaurant farm. The Harvest Table Farm has been in operation since fall of 2010 and grows specifically for our needs. Our goal is not to replace all of the important farmer relationships we’ve established over the past few years, but to extend our overall use of local foods, which is a central part of our mission.
"Our farm is located in Meadowview, on a rolling 4-acre plot. Our farm manager, Matt Sanders, recently worked as farm manager for Abingdon Organics, and before that was a grower for Appalachian Sustainable Development. Matt has been busy with both short- and long-term planning and planting, and is working to coordinate his planning with the needs of the restaurant."
Growing for the farm falls into three main categories. First, we will use the farm to provide a more reliable and steady supply of our main produce items. Our regional farmers’ markets are an excellent source of much of our restaurant produce, but those growers mostly target the market, and our restaurant isn’t always their priority. This will increase both the varieties of familiar produce, such as tomatoes and peppers, and expand the produce categories beyond what we’ve been able to find locally, such as celery, root vegetables and onions.
Second, the farm will try to extend the availability of local produce outside the normal growing seasons and even growing zone. This can be done with use of hoop houses and greenhouses, by choices of varieties adapted to cooler weather, and by adopting growing practices developed in colder climates. This also includes growing produce and varieties suitable for winter storage.
Finally, a major portion of our planning involves a much longer perspective on the plot of land we’ve chosen, with a particular eye toward permaculture and perennial plantings. Any ecological approach to farming must consider that perennial planting is the lowest long-term impact on our land, and The Harvest Table Farm will maximize this strategy.
"The Harvest Table Farm is designed not only to supply our restaurant with produce, but the facility also operates as a demonstration farm, serving an education and visitation role in our community. We welcome visitors, and group visits can be arranged by contacting Matt. We are currently soliciting summer farm workers through the WWOOF program, and more information can be found on our WWOOF site. As our season unfolds, any extra or surplus will be offered for sale at the Abingdon Farmers Market."