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Vegetables Don't Grow on Airport Runways

Publish Date: 03-Aug-2009

Vancouver Monday, August 03, 2009

(Vancouver, BC) August 3, 2009 – Finding fertile soil for a vegetable garden wasn’t easy for the culinary team at The Fairmont Vancouver Airport. After all, vegetables don’t grow on airport runways; nor do herbs, plants, or edible flowers. Luckily the nearby fields of Terra Nova Farms in Richmond provide the perfect conditions for sowing a few seeds. Today, The Fairmont Vancouver Airport has a lush garden bursting with herbs and vegetables, proudly following in the footsteps of sister hotel the Fairmont Waterfront, which has enjoyed a rooftop herb garden since 1992. 

Fairmont Vancouver Airport guests are already enjoying fresh produce from the hotel garden, which is being served in the award-winning dining room, Globe@YVR.   The garden plots have been aptly named ‘Garden to Globe.’  “It’s an amazing accomplishment for an airport hotel,” says Sous Chef and chief architect of the garden Marcus Routbard. “Our staff has volunteered many hours to make it a success.”  Up to eight colleagues tend to the garden every week – watering, weeding, harvesting, and learning. The garden is serving as an excellent tool for educating the culinary team on the time, cost, effort and benefit of nurturing fresh produce.
The team efforts are already paying off: the recently harvested bounty has been unexpectedly rich and delicious.  Rhubarb, lavender, thyme, oregano, nasturtiums, and rosemary are now on many of the plates served at The Fairmont Vancouver Airport. Later this summer, sunchokes, garlic, purple potato, basil, pansies, marigolds, strawberries, summer squash, peas, and butter lettuce will be harvested.  Serendipitously, leafy green spinach also known as lamb quarter was growing wildly nearby that was not part of the original seeding. Routbard and his team found it edible and tasty. Now, it too is served nightly in the restaurant. In addition to the culinary benefits for restaurant guests, the hotel has enjoyed an estimated savings of $1000 in herb expenses thanks to the large bounty.

Since it’s opening nearly ten years ago, The Fairmont Vancouver Airport has strived to minimize its impact on the planet through its award-winning Green Partnership program, a comprehensive platform focused on key areas such as waste reduction, energy management, water conservation, and innovative community outreach programs. With the addition of the herb and vegetable garden ‘Garden to Globe,’ The Fairmont Vancouver Airport is leading the way in accessing sustainable and organic foods within 100 miles.

Until November 10, 2009 a 100 Mile menu will be featured in Globe@YVR restaurant making special use of the harvest from the hotel garden.  Those guests wishing to partake in the full 100 Mile experience will enjoy the 100 Mile package.  This package includes accommodation (guests can sleep easy knowing that the hotel has been rated a four green-key ECOmmodation by the Hotel Association of Canada), a Chef-escorted tour of the property’s Garden to Globe vegetable and herb garden, a Chef-autographed copy of the Fairmont’s Green Guide (a step- by-step guidebook on going green) and dinner for two in the award-winning restaurant, Globe@YVR, featuring home-grown favorites from the 100 Mile Menu. Available until November 10, 2009, rates start from $339 CAD per night.  For further information or to make reservations, call 604-207-5200 or visit our packages page.

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