From Seed to Plate: Journey into Sustainable Vegetable Farming Practices

From Seed to Plate: Journey into Sustainable Vegetable Farming Practices



Picture a handful of seeds nestled in the palm of your hand—and then imagine them transformed into a field full of delicious farm-fresh vegetables that end up being creatively used on your diners’ plates. 

That’s the big picture: from seed to plate but, of course, there are many steps in between.

Sustainable Farming Versus Regenerative Farming

First, a word about sustainable farming versus regenerative farming. We did a deep dive on the subject back in 2019 titled “Sustainable Farming Versus Regenerative Farming.” As a short version of our article, the term “sustainable farming” was used for many years—until people began noting how that implied keeping the ecosystem stable: as it is, right now.

At The Chef’s Garden, we go beyond sustainability, ensuring that our soil becomes even more healthy to grow farm-fresh vegetables with even more flavor. Plenty of discussion—both within the farm and in the overall agricultural industry—ensued about what to call farming that went beyond sustainable agriculture. The term that rose to the top? Regenerative agriculture or regenerative farming. For the purposes of this post, though, we’ll use the terms of “sustainable farming” and “regenerative farming” interchangeably. 

Journey: From Seed to Plate

As we incorporate regenerative farming practices and philosophies in all we do, we grow our farm-fresh vegetables slowly, gently, and in full accord with nature. And, before we plant the seeds that grow into flavorful vegetables for your diners’ plates, we plant something called cover crops. These aren’t grown for consumption: human or animal. Instead, we’re feeding the soil, enriching and protecting it. Soil is a living, breathing organism that needs to be treated with care and attention—and, when it’s healthy, it’s vibrantly alive, providing the foundation needed for healthy crops. 

At The Chef’s Garden, we plant four to six species of cover crops, using cover crop seed grown on the farm to ensure that it has an affinity for the environment. After we grow our cover crops for a relatively short time, we gently work it into the soil, repeating this stage as many times as needed. Here, you can find out more about cover crops and our processes.

Once the soil is ready, then—and only then—do we plant seeds for the crops we’ll grow. We care for them with the same degree of attentiveness that we provide for our cover crops, never rushing through any of the steps. After all, we grow our vegetables slowly and gently in full accord with nature. 

Then, when you—as one of our cherished chefs—place an order, we carefully harvest the best of the day’s crops. In the processing, packing, and shipping room, we follow all fifty-four standard operating procedures (SOPs) for food safety along with an additional fifty-eight optional SOPs. This includes PCR testing of the water we used to wash the produce; fewer than one percent of U.S. farms conduct this additional step. All of this happens in an environment that uses a cutting-edge Extreme Microbial Technologies air purification system that sanitizes anything that’s touched by air molecules. We take safety seriously!

We then ship directly to you, Earth to Table, so your restaurant and diners receive the freshest vegetables possible. Finally, you create your fabulous masterpieces with our vegetables to the delight of your diners!

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