Blog: Gardening

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Bon Appétit Sous Chef Shirelle Boyd from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, recently launched a garden project with nearby Monticello Middle School, which she had “adopted” through the First Lady’s Chefs Move to Schools program.

At Bon Appétit, we love local food — just ask the thousand-plus small farmers, fishers, and artisans who supply us through our Farm to Fork program. Inspired by them, teams at many of our corporate accounts have started growing some of their own food. These “kitchen gardens” not only provide ultra-fresh herbs and other produce, but also give us the opportunity to educate our guests about importance of local and sustainable food — and the hard work that goes into growing it. Here’s a look at “what’s growing on” at eBay, Target, and SAP!

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Santa Clara University, in Santa Clara, CA, is located just north of some of the richest coastal farmland in California, on which grows a variety of crops from lettuces, to artichokes, to strawberries. Marketing Manager Melissa Reynen, student garden volunteer and Bon Appétit student employee Danny Paikoff, and local photographer Greg Wight decided to head out on a combination fact-finding mission and photo safari to three of the coastal farms that supply SCU, in order to gather photos and stories to share with the SCU community.

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Gardens are popping up on college campuses everywhere, and the most recent crop includes one at Saint Joseph College in Hartford, CT. The team there harvested its first bounty this year — butternut squash, tomatoes, lettuces, radishes, peppers, herbs, and more!

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Left to right: Gallaudet gardeners Carolina Fojo, Marcy Knox, Nicholas Palazzo III, Ryne Worsham, Davina Kwong, Jon Terpak Eight months ago the Gallaudet Community Garden was nothing but an abandoned volleyball court filled with sand. Today, thanks to the efforts of students and Bon Appétit — with the help of the football team — it’s a thriving garden of fourteen 20-foot-long beds that just saw its first-ever harvest! “It was an exciting day for everybody,” reports Davina Kwong, Bon Appétit General Manager at Gallaudet University, who helped spearhead the garden’s creation. “Employees from the café came out to help with the harvest, pick the fresh vegetables, and dream up ways to show them off in the café the next day.” Right: Bon Appétit café employee Tanisha Bryant picks beets from the garden. Golden wax garden beans, cucumbers, and beautiful yellow, […]

By Sarah McGowan, Marketing Manager The new student-run Duke Campus Farm at Duke University in Durham, NC, broke ground in early 2011 with great promise. After a full year of planning, students began with a February work party and the following mission: “To educate the student body on sustainable farming practices, increase Duke’s sustainability, and reconnect our generation with its food.” Starting a farm is one thing, but making it self-sustaining is another. The farm was initiated by students, who organized a feasibility study with Duke Environmental Sciences and Policy Professor Charlotte Clark’s “Food and Energy” class. The students researched the economics of the project, including details like space requirements, cost of production and maintenance, and crop sales. That’s where Bon Appétit came in. The students worked with Resident District Manager Nate Peterson and Marketing Manager Sarah McGowan on a […]

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Something magical is happening at Oberlin College in Oberlin, OH. No matter how small or dark or drafty the location, the vegetables and herbs planted by Bon Appétit Sous Chef Chris Brunst just keep growing and growing, producing food for Dascomb Café.

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Recently Bon Appétit staff, along with a small group of Gallaudet students, decided to build 14 large raised garden beds, using 952 cinderblocks that each weighed upwards of 25 pounds, and then filling those beds with soil. It quickly became clear that would be in need of some serious reinforcement.