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Provincetown :: Thursday, April 24th 2014

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Shades of Green

Restaurants with an Ecological Conscience


April 14th, 2007

It’s springtime in Provincetown and things are turning green, but it’s not just the gardens and trees. P-Town’s restaurants are also going green. From Eco-friendly dish detergent to sustainable fish, local restaurants are doing their share to become environmentally friendly.

Devon feels that, “every consumer dollar spent at an eco-friendly restaurant is a vote for sustainability and the health of our planet.”

Decreasing a restaurant's ecological impact requires a lot of careful choices and thoughtful decisions and it’s often a group effort involving owners, chefs, merchants, and patrons. Chef Amy Howell of Crowne Pointe Bistro feels, “clean food equals good food” and that “means utilizing the produce of the local organic farmers.”

Emily Putnam and Sarah Matto, who own The Garden Hose, an organic landscaping and farming business, grow eco-friendly plants and vegetables they sell to local restaurants. To complete the cycle they pick up the organic produce scraps from the local restaurants they sell their produce to and turn them back into compost. They don’t use any pesticides and harvest salt marsh hay that comes in naturally with the tide to use for mulch.

In addition, Sarah and Emily make compost teas out of herbs, manure and fish emulsions. These teas not only provide nutrients for the plants and vegetables they grow, they also return nutrients back to the ground. This practice, Emily says, “constantly builds up the soil and earth, making healthier plants and vegetables.” Emily also points out that “healthier ground uses less water.”

Since acquiring some types of organic food depends on seasonal availability, chefs have to do their research to procure ingredients. Chef Amy Howell works with purveyors such as Seafood.com that sell only sustainable fish, which she features on her menu. She also uses companies based as far away as Australia to find all-grain-fed, free-range meat.

Being green can be an expensive process as well. Organic meat, fish and produce typically cost more for a restaurant to buy. “But it’s worth it," says Devon Ruesch owner of Devon’s Restaurant, which features free range organic meat and produce. He feels that organic, hormone-free, antibiotic-free food “is what I want to eat so it’s what I want to serve.” The cost for the restaurant of organic food definitely gets passed on to the consumer, but consumers today are much more interested in eating healthy food and paying a little extra for it. Devon feels that, “every consumer dollar spent at an eco-friendly restaurant is a vote for sustainability and the health of our planet.”

It’s not just about the food. Using habitat friendly cleaning products and recycled paper products decreases the waste put back into the environment. Both Devon and Amy stress the importance of these practices in their restaurants.

Leaving a small footprint entails a lot of small steps. The payoff, though, is huge in scale. When owners and chefs take the time and effort to run a green restaurant we all reap the benefits of a healthier ecosystem. The cost in dollars is no comparison when it’s weighed against the price we pay with our health and the health of the planet when chemically toxic, non-biodegradable waste is taken into our bodies and our environment.

BISTRO AT CROWN POINTE
82 Bradford St.
Provincetown
(508) 487-6767
www.crownepointe.com/dining.asp
Open Year Round

DEVON’S
401 1/2 Commercial St.
Provincetown
(508) 487-4773
www.devons.org
Re-opening for season in May 2007

THE GARDEN HOSE
Distinctive Gardening
Thoughtful Landscaping
Farm Fresh Bouquets
(508) 487-2072
gardeninghose@yahoo.com

When owners and chefs take the time and effort to run a green restaurant we all reap the benefits of a healthier ecosystem.




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