Thursday, April 4, 2013

Even Star Farms With a Purpose

In the greenhouse at Bret's 
Meet Bret Grohsgal.  He is the man/farmer/biologist/steward behind Even Star Organic Farm located in Lexington Park, Maryland.  He provides Black Restaurant Group with traceable, fresh, organic, sustainable, local produce from his 104 acre farm that he certifies delicious, and we agree.  Bret farms with a conscience; he takes the environment into consideration in everything thing he does, from creating habitat for threatened species, protecting the local watershed, to maximizing biodiversity.  He is a colorful character, as the videos attached below can attest to, who is consumed with producing a quality product that is not only safe and smart to eat, but also tasty.

He will be quick to talk about the terroir of his land, how crops of arugula from one section of the property can taste completely different than crops from another.  He pays attention not only to the growth of his crops but also to their flavor.  Bret "gets it" when it comes to the importance of providing produce for chefs that is especially flavorful.  Maybe that is why he started out almost 17 years ago selling to Addies Restaurant in 1996, where a young chef named Jeff Black demanded only the best local ingredients.  Addies was his first customer and as the Black Restaurant Group has expanded, so has Bret.  Bret began working as a cook and chef and used his restaurant work to pay his way through Berkeley undergrad and North Carolina State University grad school, where he earned a Masters Degree in soil science.  The first crop he planted was arugula, which he still plants today.  Meeting Bret and his farm you can't help but get entangled into his enthusiasm.  He has a zest for life and the preservation of the quality of it and you can taste his passion in the freshness of his produce.  This is real food that is conscientiously farmed, and that is something that all of us can get excited about.
Videos: ArugulaKale, Habitat Pond, and Napini

UPDATED Videos from the summer harvest: Tomato SystemBintje Poatatoes

Wave if you see Bret

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