San Diego’s Green Acre restaurants are located on the Nautilus and Campus Pointe corporate campuses in La Jolla. Both restaurants showcase the beautiful symbiosis between a restaurant and an organic farm.
Urban Plantations regularly maintains both gardens with farmers on-site multiple times per week. From seasonal transitions to weekly harvesting, Urban Plantations caters each property specifically to the kitchen’s requests, preferences, and plans. Meeting with the chefs before each new season provides ample opportunity for creativity and growing a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and even edible flowers.
Both urban farms were designed and installed with a mix of raised beds and in-ground beds. This allows the team to create productive spaces that are also quite beautiful using ecologically conscious natives, pollinators, and companion planting. These methods attract bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other beneficial creatures to the garden. Any products used on the farms to fight off pests and diseases or amend the soil are certified organic. Installing owl boxes nearby has also mitigated pest issues.
Collectively, these two properties produce over six tons of food each year! Each week, the farmers hand deliver the freshly harvest fruits, vegetables, and herbs straight to the Green Acre kitchens. You can’t get more local than that! There are also active composting systems on both sites to close the loop, using food scraps from the kitchen to make high quality compost. This compost goes straight back into the garden to help grow a new era of edibles.
On-site tenants receive any harvested produce that goes unused by the kitchens. During peak harvesting months at Campus Pointe, Urban Plantations sets up a farm stand with complimentary fruits, vegetables, herbs, and bouquets for employees that produce their tenant badges. Baskets full of produce are delivered to the offices themselves each week at Nautilus.
The Campus Pointe farm hosts a number of fruiting trees and vines including citrus, stone fruit, dragon fruit, passion vines, and guavas. There are even mature grape vines growing on a pergola overlooking San Diego’s beautiful rolling hills and canyons. The in-ground growing space provides ample space for larger crops like corn and pumpkins each year, and the chefs are always pleased with the root crops grown in the raised beds.
The Nautilus garden sits hidden in a corporate courtyard with lounge chairs, barbecues, and a mini soccer field directly in front of the Green Acre restaurant. Decorative olive trees provide shade to lunch goers on the patio, while grape and passion vines encompass the garden. The mainly raised bed farm is the perfect multi-use event space. It is frequently host to parties and events for the surrounding businesses and tenants.
Urban Plantations regularly leads classes, tours, and other events at both locations as part of its maintenance services. “How To Plant A Spring Garden” and “Planting a Cocktail Garden” are two examples of highly popular classes, and tours for the San Diego Master Gardener’s Association and local elementary schools are frequently given.
Importantly, employees who work on-site also get to take advantage of the gardens. Impromptu meetings, lunch breaks in the shade, and even working on computers using WiFi are common sites in these gardens. And of course, Urban Plantations farmers are always happy to answer questions from passersby!