HOW WE ARE HELPING THE ENVIRONMENT
What is sustainability? Often a word bandied about in this current day to give businesses an appearance of green credentials. To be truly sustainable often means looking hard and looking often at your own practices. To scrutinise every ingredient, every practice, every product and ask ourselves can we do better? The answers we have come up with are not the easy solutions, no we can't buy lemons not grown in Tasmania, no we can't serve that kick-arse natural wine from France, no we can't cover that bowl with glad wrap. In a world where you can get any food at anytime from anywhere we have made the decision to be hyperlocal, to serve food and offer an experience that has a sense of place.
The Agrarian Kitchen strives to minimise waste wherever possible. Our first choice would be to not produce any waste, however as this is not possible our next priority is to reuse as much of our waste as we can, diverting it from landfill when possible.
Restaurant waste provides us with an exciting opportunity to provide nutrition to feed our garden’s fertility. We collect everything of organic nature that comes out of the restaurant, cooking classes and kiosk.
Most items will go into our comprehensive composting system, which in its final state, provides the bulk of the fertility for our fruit and vegetable crops. However, some items are separated out, which are then given special treatment for reuse in the garden.
Our bones, oyster and egg shells are first processed through our wood fired oven, cooked at high temperatures over 3 days to turn them into biochar and prepare them for mineral extractions. “Bone Char” is used in our potting mixes and compost systems as microbe refuges. The shells, once cooked, are crushed and soaked in vinegar to extract minerals. These liquids are used to fertigate our crops to give on demand nutrition during special phases of growth (eg. flowering and fruiting).
Many other items are also used as sprayed amendments in our garden. Whey from the kitchen’s natural cheesemaking is used as another calcium supplement. Fish waste is fermented and turned into fish hydrolysate, which provides us with a nitrogen-based broad spectrum mineral tonic.
All paper towels used in the restrooms and kitchen are collected and shredded then mixed with garden waste to be put through our worm farms.
Overall, we view waste as a resource. Not only do we save more than 12,000kg of waste going to landfill each year, but simultaneously we provide our garden with almost all of its fertility for each growing season.
Produce not grown onsite is procured from Tasmanian organic farms with sustainable practices and a commitment to the health of their land. Excess produce is fermented, pickled and preserved for later use.
Sustainable and wild caught fish are purchased directly from Tasmanian fishermen and under-appreciated species are often utilised. Fish are purchased whole, and every part is used.
Meat animals are raised on Tasmanian small-scale, free-range farms, where we purchase the whole carcass to be broken down and used in its entirety.
Bread is baked on site in our wood-fired oven and made using a combination of Australian organic and freshly milled Tasmanian grain.
Milk is sourced from a Tasmanian dairy herd and delivered in bulk in reusable containers. We also use this milk to make our own natural cheese using kefir culture as our starter culture. This negates the need for freeze dried culture from overseas laboratories. Leftover whey is sprayed onto our vegetable garden as a calcium supplement.
Leftover wine and cider are made into vinegar for use in the kitchen.
We work with several distillers to recieve their spirits in bulk reusable containers to reduce our glass bottle waste.
Coffee is roasted in Hobart by Zimmah Coffee Roasters and delivered to the restaurant in large reusable containers to reduce our packaging waste. Spent coffee grounds are separated and used in the kitchen for ferments and in the garden compost.
Whey from the kitchens cheesemaking is used by the bar to create non-alcoholic drinks and cocktails.
All citrus used in the bar is from Tasmania, which may not sound like a big deal but there are no commercial citrus growers in Tasmania so we rely on backyard trees only.
From day one we have been commited to reducing bottled glass. We have installed a water filtration system, which also carbonates, to deliver both still and sparkling water to our guests without the glass waste created by bottled water.
Whilst we encourage our guests to eat on our lawn area with food served on enamel plates, careful thought has gone into our takeaway packaging. Our coffee cups are from "I am not paper", using plant pulp sourced from re-purposed agricultural by-product, fast growing plants such as bamboo and reclaimed post consumer products. Most importantly it will break down in a home composting system. All takeaway packaging from the kiosk uses bioboard containers made from 100% FSC certified paper or rapidly renewable sugarcane containers.
FRONT OF HOUSE PRACTICES
All crockery used at The Agrarian Kitchen have been handmade by Tasmanian potters.
All business cards are made from post consumer recycled paper and is home compostable. Our menus are printed on 100% recycled paper and reused as notepads by our front of house staff.
In keeping with our philosophy of sourcing Tasmanian ingredients for our bar and kitchen, we carry this through with our floral arrangements displayed throughout The Agrarian Kitchen. Members of our team forage weekly from our own gardens and roadsides in our local area and are then beautifully arranged by our Restaurant Supervisor, Debora Tecchio.