When trash to treasure comes full circle.
Newport Vineyards Cultivate Committee and the culinary team have recently joined forces with The Compost Plant to extend their culinary and sustainability programs. The composting program began in June and has helped to complete the loop in their farm to table, scratch cooking culinary philosophy. “Composting for us is truly full circle. It is seeing the last bit of our food not get wasted after we extract as much as we can from locally grown ingredients, and then give back into the earth so we can start the process all over again,” Andy Teixeira, Executive Chef Newport Vineyards.
The program was introduced to Newport Vineyards via Clean Ocean Access and their Healthy Soils Healthy Seas program which is a multi-year project funded by 11th Hour Racing in partnership with Clean Ocean Access, Aquidneck Community Table, The Compost Plant and Rhodeside Revival. This two-year integrated materials management solution aims to tackle plastic pollution, marine debris and litter in our ocean by inspiring long-lasting, environmentally-responsible behavior on land.
Both teams also recently paired up in early June volunteering at local farm partner Garman Farm in Middletown, RI. A crew of 25 Newport Vineyards employees took to the Garman’s five acres, weeding, mowing, mulching and planting over 16 rows of popcorn, that will be served in Taproot Brewing Company’s café. “Volunteering at the farm is such a rewarding experience. It is an opportunity to be involved and have ownership in our ingredients. When the ingredients that the culinary team helped to plant start arriving in the kitchen, there is a tremendous amount of pride in that,” Andy Teixeira, Executive Chef Newport Vineyards.
The Cultivate Committee oversees the sustainability, charitable and community service pillars of the company. The team spearheaded becoming straw-less facility-wide, saving nearly 14,000 straws from the landfills since February 2018. “We still offer the option of a paper straw if a guest inquires, but we felt strongly that this initiative was important to our overall sustainability, and guests have welcomed it,” Allison Wilke, F&B Manager and Cultivate Committee Co-Chair. The group has also volunteered over 200 hours at local non-profits including Rhode Island Community Food Bank, Special Olympics of Rhode Island, The Martin Luther King Center and Garman Farm. They have started an herb garden on property which provides fresh herbs to their culinary and craft cocktail program. Additionally, they have raised over $2,500 for various charities including The Martin Luther King Center, the Camp Fire Relief Fund via the Sierra Nevada Resilience IPA, and Rock the 21.
Newport Vineyards Culinary Program follows a ‘farm meets vine’ culinary philosophy which operates on the premise that at the core, the company is an agricultural business; creating estate grown wines from over 100-acres of preserved farmland. Following this philosophy they proudly to offer a facility-wide culinary program, and menus, that like their wines, are made 100% from scratch with locally-sourced ingredients.
Newport Vineyards Cultivate Committee was formed in 2017 by Allison Wilke, F&B Manager and Cassandra Earle, Director of Sales & Marketing. Born out of a desire to formalize the “Do Good. Be Green. Give Back.” pillars of the growing company, the team is now over a dozen members and is active throughout the year with volunteer programs, charities and sustainability initiatives.