I discovered the Napa chefs have a local garden for their restaurants right on the Napa River. I think this is a great idea as it allows them to grow their own produce which the chefs can then serve to the customers in the restaurant. It sounds like it is something similar to a farm to table restaurant. By working with local produce, as well as local farmers, this is probably a cheaper way to get all of the ingredients that you need to make a successful restaurant. And as this local garden is a new discovery of mine, I can’t wait to look into this further.
I headed toward downtown Napa for my run again this morning. I ran past the Oxbow Market, and noticed a huge garden to my left. Wow! Was this the local community garden? It certainly was big.
I crossed the Napa River bridge, crossed the street, back over the bridge, and saw yet more vegetable gardens! Then I saw the sign:
Wow. When they mean local, they mean a couple of hundred feet away from their restaurants!
After a little internet research, it seems the garden coop was the former Copia Gardens. COPIA was a non-profit discovery center whose mission was to explore, celebrate, and share the pleasures and benefits of wine, its relationship to food, and its significance to culture. Located in Napa Valley, COPIA offered visitors wine and food tasting programs, exhibitions, organic edible gardens, films, concerts, fine and casual dining, and shopping. The center was in business from 2001 to 2008.
The gardens were rejuvenated by the local chef community around 2010. The land, which had gone into bankruptcy, was just sitting vacant and the gardens had gone to weed. It’s cool to see that the Napa community bonded together and have a great local place to grow vegetables!