Last year at Restaurant Echo, we planted some herbs along the back of the building, about four varieties along a 40 x 2 foot strip of dirt adjoining the parking lot. Thankfully, a lot of those herbs came back up in full force this spring. Oregano, thyme, mountain mint, catnip, and lavender that are storming the lot this year.
The inspiration of watching that growth in this early spring year, coupled with an abundance of space to the west of the restaurant, pushed us to take our growing program a few steps forward. Chef Chris O’Brien was the chief engineer of Echo Farm, a project that will be ongoing for years I’m sure. First we sent Pauly Walnuts (Paul Lesczynski), the greatest steward known to man and jack of all trades at Echo, across the creek with the lawnmower to mow half of the woods down (just scrub, brush, and thornbushes).
Phase two involved installing our bees. Mandy Morales, our young Garde Manger chef, had put us in touch with her parents, who are very enthusiastic beekeepers. Stephanie and Israel Morales, proprietors of Izzy’s Busy Bees, brought us a young queen, who we have named Elise (after one of our cherished servers) and ten thousand of her friends and progeny.
Part 2, Echo Farm, to follow…