'Farm-to-Table' concept popular at Garden State restaurants like A Toute Heure in Cranford
CRANFORD - Farm-to-table has become a very popular concept in the food industry.
Growing season is in full swing at Jack's Run Garden, which sits on the side and back of Andrea Carbine's Cranford home.
"I think it's a really fun part of the restaurant," says Carbine.
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It all started shortly after Carbine and her husband's first restaurant, A Toute Heure, opened in 2007.
"We were living above the restaurant, and this property came for sale, and we sort of fell in love with the idea that it had so much land available to it," she says.
They say they've learned a lot six years later. Tara Bogota was hired to help run the ¼-acre farm, which uses composting and crop rotation to remain fruitful.
"If we buy something from a farmer that's delicious and has tons of flavor, is a great plant that grows in New Jersey, then we try and grow that," Carbine says.
In a typical growing season, which is about five-months long, the garden supplies about 80 percent of the restaurant's vegetables.
Carbine's chefs get involved too, putting in daily requests for what's harvested or picked, and weighing in on what Jack's Run grows year-to-year.
"People are really curious about who is the craftsman behind the product that they're eating, and where it's from and who grew it," Carbine says. "And to be able to have such a direct answer for people is a really integral part of who we are."
The customers love it, Carbine says, because the product is as fresh and flavorful as can be.