Farm to Table
The Farm to Table program allows Montgomery Center to provide a unique experience for guests with the food, or activities surrounding food, being the focal point. As we build our farm to table program, we simultaneously add activities for summer camp and corporate groups, manicured spaces, landscaping, and opportunities to connect our local and regional area, including getting reacquainted with our presbytery. Each new aspect of the program will function to beautify the space, move us further toward being sustainable, and make the culinary department more efficient.
There are three main components to how the farm to table will operate: the Garden, the Pantry, and the Farm.
We grow vegetables, herbs and fruits in the Garden and throughout the property. This project started small, with the goal of providing 50 to 60 percent of the produce needed on property. The rest of the food needs are filled with as many local producers and companies as possible. Our gardens consist of a vegetable garden by Sugar Pine, the herb garden by the front entrance, a citrus grove on the north side of the dining hall, and wildflower and hot pepper gardens by the shop. We are also working to make our landscape as edible as possible using indigenous varieties when available. Rain barrel systems will be employed to catch water from our sizable roof footprint and automatically water the garden beds.
The Pantry ensures we are using as much of what we grow as possible. We are producing a stock of homemade pickles, hot sauce, jams and jellies, etc. to be used for groups and summer camps. We will also use primal cuts, make our own sausage and cure our own bacon. The pantry gives flexibility while using every bit of our resources to stretch the dollar as much as possible.
The Farm will start with chickens, bees and a composting system. The chickens provide value in eggs and manure. The bees are pollinators for the plants on the property, provide honey, as well as many teaching, outreach and programming opportunities.
These core aspects of the program work together to provide year round programming and revenue sources.