What Happens When a Lake Tahoe Resort Embraces Sustainable Agriculture?
Looking for a Lake Tahoe eco friendly hotel? So many places nowadays take small measures to be green, but the Resort at Squaw Creek absolutely nails it in so many ways, and even helps feed the community too!
Many estimates project our global population will reach over 9 billion by 2050. This means that our food production will need to increase by 70% in order to keep up with the growth.
What does that mean for our natural resources and the fate of our planet?
As the demands of our global population continue to rise, it strains our resources and puts stress on the Earth, threatening it with exhaustion and depletion of the very resources that keep us alive. This is why sustainable agriculture has become a crucial practice. In order to continue to nourish the people of the world with food, we have to find ways to farm and produce crops that isn’t harming the earth in the process. While it may seem like a dilemma for the scientists and researchers of the world, it is a very real problem for all of us. It is up to everyone to step up and support green practices and sustainable farming so we can help protect our resources and feed ourselves.
“Sustainability rests on the principle that we must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Sustainable Agriculture
This very problem has led some of the most world renowned resorts to step up to the challenge. While resorts may seem like the last place to be concerned by sustainable farming or green practices, many are choosing to buy locally grown crops through sustainable farming in efforts to support their community while creating a business model that is healthy for the guests and beneficial to the environment. They are choosing to be a part of the solution, and it is attracting a growing pool of environmentally conscious guests while helping their communities.
When resorts make the conscious effort to buy locally grown crops and incorporate green practices and sustainable farming into their food sourcing, they are setting a standard and taking the first steps towards creating a food production cycle that will help replenish the earth and give back making them pioneers in a very necessary movement. The Resort at Squaw Creek has started their own garden to use for their menu selections while helping local sustainability efforts, and they are a great example of the changes businesses need to be making.
The Resort at Squaw Creek is located only minutes from Lake Tahoe, and the resort itself is at the bottom of the Squaw Valley Ski area. It is a hot spot for year round activities from skiing to golfing. As an ultimate vacation destination in the Lake Tahoe area, it has breathtaking views and world class accommodations all meant to provide guests with a modern, outdoor adventure experience. The Resort continues to perfect their experience by offering up some of the freshest foods grown right on property – on the roof, in fact!
Their garden is named the Rooftop Roots, and it produces a variety of leafy greens, vegetables, and herbs that are used in the resort’s menu selections throughout their multiple restaurants in everything in everything from the food to the cocktails. Timothy Hmay is the Resort Executive Chef, and it is his goal to use food in its simplest form to create delicious dishes that are made from the organic, sustainable items in season. The mixologist from the Six Peaks Grille, Tamaneaka French, also explores the garden frequently to choose herbs to use in her concoctions as ingredients and garnishes. Her mixtures are incredibly fresh and unique. Experiencing food and drink made with ingredients grown only feet away from the kitchen makes for more meaningful and healthy dining.
Using a modern hydroponic system, the garden in The Resort at Squaw Creek allows for a much larger yield than usual and with only organic nutrients being used. The Resort is taking their garden to the next level and doing much more than just growing their own food. The most impressive aspect of this garden is the fact that any surplus produced is sold to a local Lake Tahoe non-profit organization known as Tahoe Food Hub.
In order to make sure that nothing goes to waste, their surplus to the Tahoe Food Hub helps aid the efforts to better the local food distribution through the creation of a regional food system. The food system is comprised of nearby farms within 100 miles of North Lake Tahoe, and they have created a relationship between the farms and other neighboring restaurants, small grocers, schools, and even hospitals. Resort at Squaw Creek is playing a role in this food system, and they even purchase any needed additional produce through the Tahoe Food Hub furthering the efforts of sustainable agriculture.
While staying at the Squaw Creek, guests can view the project from all over the Resort. There is a greenhouse of sorts next to the Cascades Restaurant and inside Mountain Buddies which is called the “plant nursery” where the beginning stages of the plant growing process begins before it is transplanted to the rooftop garden. They also allow children attending the Mountain Buddies to explore the garden and learn about its processes and the importance agriculture.
The Resort at Squaw Creek is standing up to meet the demands of their local food needs while working to protect the sustainability of future generations of farming. They are sewing themselves into the fabric or their communities making them an integral part of the economy and the food production. Coming together for the betterment of community, the future and people is the only way we will maintain any sense of sustainability. We are stronger together, and resorts like these will be able to stand the test of time while setting the standards for other businesses.
My stay was hosted, my thoughts remain my own.