Before I start I want to thank our staff, our producers and our customers for a truly great year. Your support and friendship is at the heart of why we do what we do. We are thrilled with the prospects for our 3rd year. David
We are just past the 2 year mark for Central Food. A year ago crews were just finishing up Summit Blvd to Monroe and laying the asphalt on the Centennial Trail. Since that time our neighborhood has grown and all year long the level of activity on the trail, in the plaza and in the businesses has been incredible. With Concerts, Wine Tastings and First Friday happening it seems that there was always something happening in Kendall Yards.
One of the big highlights of our second year for me was beginning the process of turning our foliage into an edible landscape. We installed raised beds and planted table grapes, a columnar apple tree, and blueberry bushes along the patio railing. Over the course of the season we planted over 50 varieties of food producing plants. The Stevia, Ground Cherry and Salsify were popular conversation starters. Our milk crate garden experiment on the patio yielded a fair amount of kale and strawberries. We look forward to expanding our gardening efforts next year. We have formed a partnership with the high school seniors at Spokane’s STEP program to create vertical hydroponic gardens that use a fraction of the water of traditional hydroponic.
Other infrastructure improvements we accomplished this year were moving the patio door, creating a new table layout to better accommodate larger groups, and ongoing additions to our acoustic insulation.
Keeping with our mission statement we were able to grow our relationships with local producers. We are proud to have servers who are also farmers. It is a special thing to have food served to you by the person who grew it. Madyson started Casacano Farm with her Fiancee this year and Amy works at Urban Eden. Much of our food scraps was recycled into feed for Madyson’s pigs. This year saw the launch of a new Farmer Co-op called Linc. This project is a huge leap forward for distribution ideas that have been stuck in idea mode for to long.
Central Food is people and this year we had the gamut of milestones. Births, weddings, house buying, graduations, career advancements, new puppies, and international adventures. It is rewarding to share in the excitement of our work families achievements. All of these moments combined to make the year one of positivity and growth.
A highlight of my year was being invited to a chef retreat at Quillisascut by the James Beard Foundations new Chef Action Network. Topics discussed included the revitalization of Salmon in the inland northwest, Acidification of the oceans, food access for low income people, and issues facing food programs in schools.We were proud to support Project Hope and Futurewise with events this year. Project Hope is one of the most important organizations operating in our neighborhood and we were glad to have been part of their annual fundraiser. Our close ties with Project Hope also created an opportunity to be part of an STCU ad campaign that highlights the positive changes happening here in West Central. The surprisingly long days of shooting video provided a rare opportunity to hang out with some of the amazing people working in this community.
We want to start off the 3rd year as we do every year with implementation of some changes to our overall direction that we think reflect the direction that the food culture is heading. They included variable entree sizing, dishes that focus on grains instead of traditional starches, and a plant based food focus. I will be writing about some of these in the next week.