Staff at a Healdsburg hotel have created a new way for area residents to contribute to keeping the world green.
's Mixologist Scott Beattie and Chef Tosha Callahan said they believe you can spare the environment by participating in their new eco-conscience program called “Give Us Your Fruit." That's because the fruit will come from local sources, and so will not have to spend days in transit, as is usually the case.
Mary Kelley, manager of the said she is pleased that the program will help reduce fossil fuels consumption by cutting produce transportation costs.
"A study by the Leopold Center found that the average piece of food, consumed by an American, travels 1,518 miles, burning a lot of fossil fuels in transportation," Kelley said. "By purchasing local, seasonal produce, and thereby reducing 'food miles,' we can also reduce our carbon footprint."
Kelley had praise for Beattie's inventiveness in helping to create the program.
“The most delicious cocktail I have ever tasted was a Greyhound made with Ruby Red Grapefruit, which he brought to us from his father's home in a neighboring county," Kelley said. "Scott has been a regular customer at the Farmers' Market for many years, and continues to find local sources of food even when the market is not open."
Beattie, who has been with Spoonbar since it opened, said he has been working with a small group of growers in the area since he was at restaurant.
In creating the “Give Us Your Fruit” campaign, h2hotel staff said they agreed they wanted to extend the opportunity to local people to trade backyard produce for restaurant credit. They said this area has so many fruit trees loaded with citrus -- the program will make use of the excess.
Beattie said he feels strongly that the new program will reduce the carbon footprint for food.
“I feel that it will be pretty cool for our hotel guests to be drinking their morning OJ or grapefruit juice with their complimentary breakfast and know that their juice might have a carbon footprint of a quarter mile, rather than 3,000 miles, as would be the case with Florida produce," Beattie said. "All in all, this seems to me to be one of those rare win-win-win scenarios.”
Tosha Callahan, pastry chef at Spoonbar, had this to say about the program.
“'Give us Your Fruit 'was designed as a community recycling program and I believe we are doing our part to put a new outlook on food in the community,” she said.
Callahan said the program fits into her own personal mission and philosophy.
“I enjoy a life of self-sustainability, with a small veggie garden on my property and always find fresh local produce, as often as I can, to use in my own kitchen as well as here at Spoonbar,” she said.
In case you have questions about the freshness of the fruit Spoonbar receives, Callahan addressed that front and center.
“We will be cutting and juicing every fruit prior to giving a price per pound and then receiving the fruit and giving credit for the restaurant," she said. "We will work on a sliding scale, depending on the quality of the fruit, but also will not hesitate to refuse fruit that is not of the proper quality-- i.e. as juicy as the lemons you buy from the store.”
Asked whether the program would continue after the initial week, Spoonbar staff said they will evaluate what they can handle. Ideally, they said they would continue the program for one week each month until the end of citrus season or until they reach capacity.
If you would like to participate in Spoonbar’s “Give Us Your Fruit” program, follow these guidelines:
--Fruit will need to be ripe and clean
--Spoonbar can accept up to 100 pounds of juicing oranges, lemons of all types and grapefruits. If you are unsure about the quality of the fruit you want to bring, call (707) 433-7222 first. Dining credit will be determined by Spoonbar based on fair market value of the fruit.
--Drop of fruit off to Pastry Chef Tosha Callahan, at 219 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, from 10 a.m.-noon, Feb. 16-23