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Sow cover crops like mustard, clover or peas and then turn them over to add nutrients when it's time to plant your veggies again.

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What's the best fall garden activity?
Creating a Nice Buzz at Fairmont Hotels in North America Print E-mail
Written by Ann Shepphird   
Fairmont Royal YorkAmid growing concerns about Colony Collapse Disorder in North American honeybees, a number of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts have added bee hives to their rooftop kitchen gardens. Not only does the addition of the hives help the environment by providing bees to pollinate area gardens and parks -- but the honey can then be harvested for use in the hotel restaurants and bars, where the honey is used to add a nice buzz (yes, I had to) to the cocktails. Fairmont hotels that have joined the program include The Fairmont Washington, D.C.; The Fairmont Royal York in Toronto; The Fairmont Algonquin in St. Andrews by-the-Sea, New Brunswick; The Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver; and The Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec.

Some of the new cocktails using the homegrown honey -- and other fresh herbs and produce from the kitchen gardens -- are the Bee-tini at The Fairmont Washington, D.C., which mixes Belvedere Pomrancza vodka, clover honey, fresh grapefruit juice, mint and grenadine, and the Festival Buzz, pictured above in front of a honey harvest at The Fairmont Royal York, which combines 1 oz of white peach puree, ¼ ounce of Royal York Honey and 4 oz. of Moet Chandon champagne.
Fresh Healthy Cuisine from Cal-a-Vie Print E-mail
Written by Ann Shepphird   

Chef Jason GrahamLocated on 200 acres in North San Diego County, the Cal-a-Vie destination spa combines vigorous exercise with luxurious spa treatments (picture a loving boot camp) – plus fresh healthy cuisine that is low in calories, high in flavor and always plenty filling. Cal-a-Vie Executive Chef Jason Graham has been named one of the top healthy gourmet chefs and is co-author of the book “Cal-a-Vie Living: Gourmet Spa Cuisine,” which is available in Cal-a-Vie’s gift shop.

We recently spoke to Chef Graham about his methods in preparing healthy, low-calorie cuisine using fresh local produce. He was also kind enough to share two recipes ideal for the winter months: roasted natural beef tenderloin with balsamic marinated heirloom tomatoes, roasted potatoes and green beans and a fuju persimmon and cranberry cobbler.

How would you describe the food you serve at Cal-a-Vie?

Clean, upscale spa cuisine. My version of clean spa food is no butter, cream, white or brown sugar and no excess oil. We use classic French techniques and natural ingredients. We estimate our calories to numbers, but really work with portion size and, of course, common sense. Using fresh, seasonal ingredients that are full of flavor, we’re able to create tasty, delicious dishes. (Click "read more" for rest of article and recipes.)

An Organic Kitchen Garden in the Big D? At The Fairmont, the Answer is "Yes." Print E-mail
User Rating: / 2
Written by Ann Shepphird   

Chef Foster at the FairmontDowntown Dallas is not exactly the place you’d expect to find an organic kitchen garden -- but find it you will at The Fairmont Dallas. The garden was created by Executive Chef jW Foster (pictured, right), who started working for the hotel in the fall of 2007 and by spring of 2009 had built a 3,000-square-foot kitchen garden on the terrace level as part of his reopening of the hotel’s Pyramid Restaurant & Bar.

The garden includes benches and other seating so guests can sit and enjoy the space – or they can go further and take one of the cooking classes taught by Chef Foster or go even further and help plant and harvest the produce and then work with chefs to turn that produce into a signature menu creations, something the hotel is working into a package for next spring.

We recently talked to Chef Foster about putting in the gardens, what he’s learned and how he’s using the produce in his kitchen. He was also kind enough to share a recipe for one of the chutneys they make in-house – this one is tomato-apricot. (Click “read more” to continue.)

Ka'ana Boutique Resort's Un-Belize-able Organic Garden Print E-mail
User Rating: / 3
Written by Melanie Waldman   

Ka'ana GardenWhile swanning around the sustainably cool Ka'ana Boutique Resort in the Cayo District of western central Belize last week, I all but stumbled upon my dream kitchen garden. Too bad it's their dream kitchen garden...but at least we can all visit.

In its second year, Ka'ana, the pride of Belizean owner Ian Lizzaraga, is thriving. This cozy-cool resort aims to create a real sense of place, leaving much of its landscape lush and wild and in its rooms, spa and beyond, showcasing Belizean products like mahogany, brown sugar and artisanal chocolate. At its signature restaurant, La Ceiba (named for an enormous Central American tree that was sacred to the Mayans), seasonal menus with creative spins on traditional dishes give the garden's produce an elegant place to shine.
Okra, a Caribbean staple, langorously drapes itself over a rough-hewn arbor, then becomes a steamed and buttery side dish with a spicy jerk chicken and cumin yogurt. The emerald green arugula is the sweetest I've ever tried, with nary a hint of bitterness; it graces salads and chewy wood-fired pizzas, but I wouldn't be shy about nibbling it by itself. Fed by iron-rich red soil, crunchy cauliflower grow as big as infants, bright lettuces fluff up next to spicy habañeros, and golden squashes are swelling right now.

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