MOOSIC, Pa. -- Keeping local fresh ingredients on the menu is a challenge for any restaurant. That challenge is even more difficult during the winter months here in northeastern and central Pennsylvania.
"Of course, you can absolutely see it as you're cooking it."
That's the word on cooking local farm-fresh ingredients from the executive chef at Harvest. One of the core values at Harvest is, "fanatic attention to quality, service, and consistency." They achieve this by locally sourcing as much of the ingredients they use as possible.
"Right now, we use Rowlands Farms out of Dallas, Pocono Hydro, Lancaster Farm Fresh. Anything we can get local we try to make sure we can bring it in," said Harvest general manager Randy Park.
Keeping local fresh ingredients on the menu is easier during the warmer months.
"We get out as much as we can. I do go down to the Green Ridge local farmer's market. We do get stuff there to support our local farmers," said Harvest executive chef John Michael Ayala.
It's cold, it's windy, it's February in northeastern Pennsylvania. Have you ever wondered how places like Harvest keeps their menu farm fresh even during the winter months?
"It's amazing what they grow in these greenhouses. It's really neat. We get it in and it's an amazing product," Park said.
Co-ops like Lancaster Farm Fresh use greenhouses to grow fresh produce that ends up in everything from main dishes to juices.
"These are cold-pressed juices right out of Lancaster. They have their own facility. They make these daily. The Million Bucks is probably my favorite," Ayala said.
Sourcing the food locally is not only more sustainable, but it also helps maintain the local economy.
"Supporting all our local farmers and helping them out being able to support their families," Ayala added.