Food Systems and Fermentation
The kitchen is the heart of the Ranch. It is the place we gather, the place we celebrate, and the place that sustains us day by day.
Our food is sourced from our local and regional foodshed, and each meal is prepared by hand from whole foods. We do not own a can opener. We do not own a microwave. We minimize our use of fossil fuels by cooking on fire, with solar energy, or with methane gas from our biodigestor. We value traditional methods of food preparation as well as innovation and culinary fusion from many practices. Each meal is served with something fresh and something fermented, and most include local or exotic delicacies like pejibaye, ojoche, jackfruit, breadnut, zorillo, starfruit, tropical greens, taro, and many more.
Our kitchen philosophy is grounded in the understanding that every part of food production--from farm to harvest to storage to preparation and preservation—are inherently linked in a food system that we have the power to continuously design and implement. We believe that communities everywhere can create sustainable, regenerative solutions that render the predominant global, fossil-fuel-based food system obsolete.
Our kitchen continuously evolves with new strategies and techniques. We are guided by the following five goals:
1. Develop Efficient Appropriate Scale Capacity
Our knowledge, infrastructure, and tool capacity is broad and effective enough to reasonably process whole foods from all food categories (fruits and sugars, vegetables and leafy greens, meat and eggs, dairy, starches, seeds and nuts, fats, legumes, herbs and spices). Our processing techniques utilize the simplest and most efficient routes to food production which also meet our goals and values.
2. Build Health and Nutrition
We design and implement food systems that build healthy bodies and healthy communities. We take into consideration balance and variety of diet, healthy processing and preservation techniques, organic and nutrient dense growing techniques, and living foods that build healthy microbial communities in our bodies and in the place we live.
3. Strengthen Local Markets and Drive Sustainable Agricultural Systems
We source our food from our local and regional foodsheds. Our food demand drives production of sustainable agricultural systems.
4. Create Excellent Educational Programming
Our educational programming is based on our actual food goals and usage.
5. Make it Economically Viable
Our systems are cost effective and replicable.
We look forward to sharing a meal with you here at the Ranch!