Seventy percent of the organic produce served in Vinaigrette during peak season is grown on owner Erin Wade’s bucolic, 10-acre farm – Los Portales - in Nambé, New Mexico, about 20 minutes north of Santa Fe. After renovating the 300-year old adobe farmhouse, Erin began to clear the land, nourish the soil and learn the art of farming. She read voraciously about how to farm organically and the even trickier task of doing it in the high desert with its short growing season, clay-based soil, and non-existent humidity. To extend the farms growing capacities into the fall and winter months, Erin and her family installed a 1,200 square-foot greenhouse that is bursting with micro-greens, herbs and other cool-season delights in the winter and a jungle of tomatoes and hot house crops in the summer. Chickens range happily around the property, keeping pests in check and squawking contentedly as they lay vibrant-yolked eggs brought daily to the vinaigrette kitchen. In return, food waste from the restaurant is brought back to Los Portales where it is either fed to the plump farm pigs or composted in a network of worm-filled “vermiculture” piles.
Read a more in-depth account of Erin and her farm from Local Flavor’s May 2011 Farm & Ranch Issue
See video of Erin in her "Fearless Vegetable Gardening" lecture