Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Today in Celebrity Vegetables: Dr. Andrew Weil to Start Garden With Hacienda del Sol

Posted By on Wed, Jun 23, 2010 at 9:47 AM

Officials at Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort announced yesterday that they’re teaming up with one of the biggest names in natural health and well-being to start a new garden at the resort.

The resort’s restaurant, the Grill at Hacienda del Sol, is already known for using fresh ingredients grown in gardens at the resort. Teaming up with Dr. Andrew Weil to plant a 2,000-square-foot garden, however, is one hell of a way to add celebrity status to the produce grown there.

From the press release:

The Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort and world-renowned doctor of integrative medicine, Dr. Andrew Weil, have two things growing this fall: a new garden and a blossoming relationship centered around the pleasure of gardening, inspiring healthy lifestyles and healthy environments.

“Dr. Weil is a fan of The Grill at the resort,” said Hacienda del Sol Owner Jeff Timan. “And he loves gardening, but won’t have room to garden at his new home. We invited him to build a garden with us and he agreed. It’s planned to be a shared garden, splitting the costs and whatever we grow.”

The 2,000 square foot garden, which has been filled with rich soil imported from Dr. Weil’s property at X9 Ranch, will be planted in September. It’s planned to include

many varieties of vegetables and culinary herbs. Dr. Weil and Hacienda del Sol intend to harvest rain water and to experiment with solar pumps to conserve energy and resources.

“I am a long-time gardener and promoter of organic, sustainable agriculture and local food production,” Dr. Weil says. “I’m delighted to be able to partner with Hacienda del Sol in this project and try out new kinds of vegetables and new techniques.”

Hacienda del Sol is widely known for their gorgeous on-property gardens. Scattered across the resort’s 34-acres, Hacienda’s multiple gardens range in variety from native and international arid plants to herbs, vegetables, fruits and flowers, both decorative and edible.

“I remember having our line cook run outside in the middle of a rush with a pair of scissors to get some eggplant for an appetizer we were preparing,” said Executive Chef Ramiro Scavo. “He brought them to me and I cut, seasoned and cooked them within minutes. I remember thinking, ‘I’m living every chef’s dream, fresh cut produce.’”

Currently, the gardens at Hacienda del Sol produce upwards of 70% of the herbs for The Grill at Hacienda del Sol, including many types of basil and mint, rosemary, oregano, chervil, sorrel, chives, garlic, cilantro, parsley, tarragon, marjoram, lavender, lemongrass and thyme. They also grow more than 12 types of citrus trees including kumquats, blood oranges, Myer lemons, oranges and grapefruit. In addition, the resort grows seasonal edibles such as Swiss chard, Japanese eggplant, edible flowers for garnishes and many varieties of lettuce.