By Farah Masani
Chris Hadin, the Greenhouse Manager at Abilis, met with Executive Chef Michael Lucente at Greenwich Barcelona to discuss supplying the restaurant with fresh greens. Abilis is an organization serving adults and children with disabilities in Greenwich, CT.
Together, Chris and Chef Michael charted out a growing schedule that will not only provide employment and job training opportunities for adults with disabilities, but will also provide farm fresh baby greens and microgreens to the restaurant every week. This farmer-in-training program will allow Abilis to work jointly with Barcelona chefs and will lead to the creation of jobs for people who truly want to work and want to have the opportunity to be productive members of our community.
The product will be freshly harvested the morning of the day it arrives at the restaurant. The farmers-in-training will get to meet with the chef and restaurant manager weekly, understand how the produce will be used on the menu and gain knowledge of its application. This will teach them the skills to sell their products to other restaurants in the area.
Once the farmers-in-training are able to keep up with continuous seeding and harvesting, then our hope is to expand the program to all Connecticut Barcelona restaurants by May.
So, ask for the Abilis mix the next time you’re in the Greenwich Barcelona. Chris and his farmers are perfecting a mix containing Beets, Radishes, Broccoli, Kale, Arugula, Red Acre Cabbage & Cauliflower, yellow mustard greens, and curly cress.
Farah Masani is a farmer living in Wilton, CT who, in addition to farming, is on the staff of Barcelona Restaurant Group where she is responsible for local sourcing. In July she launched the Barcelona Farmigo CSA program to provide the restaurant’s patrons and greater community with a convenient and flexible way to purchase more sustainably grown local food. Farah previously worked as a farm manager at Millstone Farm in Wilton.