By Denise Christen
Healthy Planet Lifestyles Editor
A flourishing year round garden in St. Louis City? Welcome to Hamilton Farms, the only commercial tower garden setup in the Midwest. This is the brain child of Paul Hamilton, purveyor of Hamilton Hospitality, who, along with his wife Wendy, have brought new life into old buildings in the Lafayette Square area and are creating a unique farm to table experience at their many venues.
After successfully renovating an abandoned shoe factory to house Eleven Eleven Mississippi, Paul and Wendy acquired the Old Centennial Malt House Brewery and created a total of six different shops and restaurants that include Vin de Set, a gourmet French restaurant; Moulin Events, a catering and reception area for events; Grand Petite Market, a small gift shop that sells wines, snacks, and treats; The Malthouse Cellar, a unique underground event center; PW Pizza, voted as being the best pizza in the area; and 21st Street Brewers Bar, featuring more than 50 tapped brews, wine, and food. Charleville Brewery is currently under construction across the street from the compound and is set to open in May.
Hamilton grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania and was anxious to leave farming behind, but after earning a degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management, he ultimately returned to his roots (pardon the pun) in this urban setting. His greenhouse, located behind Charleville Brewery, houses 50 aeroponic tower gardens that hold 44 plants each.
Aeroponics is similar to hydroponics, but the towers make the most of the space available and there is no soil used, which makes for a cleaner process. Among other things, varieties of kale, lettuce and herbs are grown in the towers and used to supply their various restaurants, bringing a true farm to table experience throughout the year. In addition, they have a traditional soil garden which grows tomatoes, root vegetables, radishes, snow peas, melons and more.
Landscaping planted during the renovation includes fruit trees; fresh apples, cherries, peaches, pears and plums which will soon be available on the menus as well. The restaurants’ chefs take an active role in the farm by harvesting their own vegetables and suggesting menu items based on the freshest produce available.
And of course the farm would not be complete without its own bee hive.
Visit one or all of the Hamiltons’ restaurants to experience the fresh menus offered and stay tuned for more exciting ideas to come. VindeSet.com