We are so excited and passionate about the garden at OAP. Patrick Ryland and Kira have been working tirelessly on making our garden a renewable resource for our restaurant.
Patrick gave me the grand tour, beginning at the “shed” a makeshift garden starter area next to the hotel. They have many plant and herb “baby starts” coming along, especially now that the sunshine is out. They have made a dehydrator out of repurposed wood from around the hotel. The leaves and fruit they will be dehydrating will be sold as tea in the hotel gift shop. I can hardly wait to taste some of that!
Next we moved over to the compost pile. I know, kind of gross, but very resourceful. All of the food waste from the restaurant is composted. To keep the smell down we use a bio char, a byproduct of the Port Townsend Paper Mill. Since we know everything that has been put into the compost pile, we are confident to use it as a soil amendment. This means we use the compost in the soil used in the garden to grow all of the delicious vegetables and herbs for the restaurant. Also, we use weeds…yes weeds! Weeds when they grow take the nutrients out of the soil they grow in. So we take the weeds, soak them in rain water, taking all the nutrients out of the weeds, water the garden with the nutritious rain water and take the soaked (now “empty”) weeds and compost them too.
Heading out of the shed and compost area we get to the good stuff, the amazing garden! They have literally transformed the hillside on the water side of the hotel grounds. The tall trellises made of willow wood are for the sugar snap peas planted just beneath them. This way the sugar snap peas can grow as tall as they want, while we enjoy their beauty and goodness. The hillside has been terraced into three levels, growing radishes, turnips, spicy salad mix, mild salad mix, arugula among other things. Fun fact, there are strawberries planted among the rose bushes by the patio outside the restaurant. Those will be lovely and delicious this summer!