The Bistro GardenThe Bistro Garden at the Institute for Culinary Arts, Omaha is a year-round production-
based on best practices of organic agriculture.
The dream for the garden started as the faculty and students tried to follow rule number seven of their
chef's oath - to use only great ingredients. This dream paralleled the growing customer expectation for
locally sourced and ridiculously fresh products--as well as the need to provide an "in-the-dirt laboratory"
for culinary students to foster respect for their ingredients.
An Outdoor Classroom
Students at the Institute for the Culinary Arts have the opportunity to enroll in our course, Food Cultivation.
In this course they learn side by side with the dedicated and passionate Horticulture Faculty.
Each day of class, they are in the garden discovering ways to cultivate a deeper relationship with the
foods that we love.
The nearly one quarter acre allows for the production of many different kinds of vegetables and root crops.
Movable greenhouses, known as high tunnels, are used to fully utilize our space as well as the
growing seasons. In addition to the expected crops of tomatoes, zucchinis,
eggplants, and such the garden is designed to deliver more varied products.
At full production the garden will supply items as varied as apples, currants, raspberries,
mushrooms and honey from the garden’s own hive.
Though not a food crop, flowers are an important part of vegetable garden management,
and they look beautiful in the dining room. As such, they will be produced in the garden.
These varied products mean we are taking advantage of all the space given over to gardening.
Additionally, it means a more complete and challenging learning experience for the students and a
more rewarding experience for diners at the Sage Student Bistro. Sustainability is the guiding
principal of the Bistro Garden. Best practices of organic agriculture are employed to maintain
balanced soil health, plant nutrition, and bountiful harvests. In the end, sustainability is about
stewardship, not just what we can get today but how we can build something that will keep giving,
keep feeding, and keep teaching; ourselves, our students, and our guests.