Do Small Restaurants Really Make an Impact?
It’s easy to think about farms, and concepts like “sustainable agriculture” as being entities or issues that are just a bit too large in scale to fully digest in your brain. But the truth is — they’re not. In the case of Deep Roots Farm and Laughing Planet Cafe in Albany and Portland (as well as Corvallis and Eugene) respectively, the partnership is not of a grand scale, but the positive impact is felt in a deep and meaningful way, on both sides of the fence.
What does this mean? Well, for Deep Roots Farm, this means direct to customer and direct to market relationships are viable. With a few restaurants to serve produce to, as well as a few trips weekly to any of three area farmers markets, and Deep Roots Farm is able to run a successful operation. And for Laughing Planet, a few partners in supply like Deep Roots, and their commitment to sustainable practices, and sourcing produce locally for the good of all, grows from a theoretical “good idea” to an actual practice.
Breaking Down the Numbers: Gauging the Positive Impact
According to Head Chef at Laughing Planet, Jon Grumbles, the numbers look something like this:
- During tomato season, in about 5-8 weeks, Laughing Planet will go through about 2000-2500 pounds of tomatoes a week.
- Laughing Planet was going through about 1000 pounds of yukon gold potatoes weekly for about 3-4 months last winter (for our sister restaurant, Dick’s Kitchen).
- Laughing Planet is currently going thru about 300 bunches of kale a week from Deep Roots (for LP only, while Dick’s also sources kale from Deep Roots), and this will hopefully cover about 8 months out of the year.
- Laughing Planet also uses about 100 bunches of a variety of greens from collards to lacinato kale to rainbow chard from them, weekly.
- Laughing Planet will also go through 50 pounds of other miscellaneous produce, primarily squashes, each week.
[Photo Via: Small Doggies Omnimedia, a Portland Digital Marketing Company]