Local "helpers" at the farm

All our "dirty talk" recently about the soil, transitioning from one season to the next, 
prepping the beds keeps us focused on the farm as a living, changing eco-system. 
We depend on the weather and nature certainly to create 
the right setting for our farm to thrive. 
But we can help the delicate balance 
that is needed for this to be the ideal environment for abundant and fertile growth.
Committed as we are to biodynamic farming, we are always 
searching for ways to involve the right living organisms that 
will participate in the life cycle of the farm and complete the holistic circle. 
The thriving insectary surrounding the farm ensures that all the "good-guy" bugs 
are at the ready to protect our plants. 
Insectary plants 
Another important element to creating the quintessential place
 to grow our vegetables is replenishing the soil with 
necessary nutrients—and this isn't just about adding amendment. 
Including worms as part of the compost plan transforms 
the "dirt" to a fertile and rich breeding ground.

Our red wrigglers, which are considered the best garden worms, 
come from a local source, Sonoma Valley Worm Farm.  
Much has been written about the effect these worms have on growing the best produce. "When worms transform plant waste and/or animal manure 
into compost, their own manure—known as Vermicast 
or worm castings—becomes mixed into it. 
This mixture is called Vermicompost.
Compost in and of itself is a highly nutritious fertilizer and soil amendment. 
When combined with worm castings, which contain 
an extremely high concentration of water-soluble nutrients, 
the mixture is an amazingly nutrient-rich 
organic fertilizer—a staple of organic and bio-dynamic gardening."

Matt and Ray from Local Landscapers, who work with us on the farm project, 
created a worm bin in the space we farm behind the girl & the fig restaurant.  
There is a drain at the bottom, so it is easy to extract our "worm tea."
They created a warm, moist and very hospitable environment 
for the thousands of worms that were in the two pound box 
they brought from the Worm Farm.  

One particularly satisfying aspect of our farm to table commitment 
is the the perfect circle of our work. The kitchen scraps are used for compost
which contributes to the nutrients in the soil where we grow the vegetables 
our chefs use to create the food we serve to our guests. 

With the restaurant we have an unlimited source of food 
so our tasty kitchen scraps became the compost added to some rich soil 
for the worms to "do their thing." Worms eat 30% of their weight per day, 
so they are very busy in the bin. The layer of straw is added for insulation 
and then covered with cardboard to keep them safe inside. 
It will take about 6 weeks to reach the concentration we are seeking.

"Locally sourced" resonates even more for us when we can 
trace the food we create for you through this short route: 
Our "farm helpers," the red wrigglers, come from about 3 miles away, 
are incubated in our worm bin behind the restaurant to
become nutritious soil amendment for our farm about 6 miles 
down the road where we grow vegetables to bring back 
to our chefs at the restaurant to serve to you. 
photo by Steven Krause for
Plats du Jour: the girl & the fig's Journey Through the Seasons in Wine Country

photo of butternut squash soup by Steven Krause for
Plats du Jour: the girl & the fig's Journey Through the Seasons in Wine Country