The Flavors of Going Green (and yellow, red, even blue)
Innkeeper Jim has been an environmentalist since the 60′s. Recycling, composting, reusing and donating everything from cash to used mattresses have always been philosophies of The Wine Country Inn.
But lately we’ve been ramping up our efforts. We just installed solar panels on the Innkeeper Jim’s home, on owner Mom’s home and have plans to cover the Brandy Barn roof with panels.
HOWEVER, YOU CAN’T TASTE THAT STUFF.
Over the last five years the crew at The Wine Country Inn has gone crazy with organic, sustainable farming. And it tastes sooo good.
“I feel like the true key to sustainability is exactly the opposite of mass production and specialization," Jim boasts. "We have 1/2 acre of gardens (enough for 250 heirloom tomatoes plants, 250 heirloom peppers and scads of all the other stuff listed above) eliminate the need for trucking produce all over the place, factory processing, chemical fertilizers and pesticides, cold storage, mechanical harvesting, etc.”
“And then there’s the flavor of tomatoes that have never seen a refrigerator, that were picked, RIPE, that very morning before I mix them together with peppers and garlic and onions to make fresh salsa. Even I had never tasted anything like that until a few years ago,” Jim continues. “We have had to completely recraft our recipes to take advantage of all this amazing PICKED RIPE produce. What a pleasure going green!!”
For Innkeeper Jim sustainability extends to sustaining his staff. “If you think about ‘Green’ on a larger scale, sustainability can enter into so many more aspects of our lives. It seems to me that many corporate cultures even extend to disposable people. I know that might be a little esoteric for a lodging website, but it is certainly relevant to me. I have a number of staff who have been with me over 20 years and I think the average staff stay is well over 10 years. Recently a house came up for rent across the street so I rented it and moved a couple who both work for me into the house. They were both driving from Napa (they worked different shifts), their kids were home alone more than they would have preferred and gas was at $3.50 a gallon. I now rent 4 homes right across the street from The Inn and have not only taken a number of cars off the road, but created a little community where parents get to spend more time with their families. If that isn’t ‘Sustainability’ and ‘Green’ I don’t know what is.”