Harvest Seasonal Kitchen opened its doors on September 18th, 2014. Harvest was conceived to connect diners with our vibrant North Texas food community. The objective was not just to serve great food, but to make a long-term impact on the community by supporting the businesses of local farmers, ranchers, and artisans. When we spend a dollar locally, seventy cents stay in our community, and it’s on that principle that the restaurant operates.
Harvest sources almost all of its food from within a 150-mile radius, from proteins to produce, visiting our local farmers market weekly to shop and seek out new farmers. Our menu changes four times a year based on what is seasonally available. This commitment is continued in the bar, which features almost entirely Texas-made liquor and beer. We also brew our own beer in the traditional farmhouse style using Texas grain, malt, and honey. The kitchen uses every part of the animals and vegetables they receive, from preserving in jars and dehydrating into powders to making our own sausage and stock. Operating this way not only saves costs and supports our local economy but also lowers our carbon footprint.
It’s not just the food and drink, either. All flowers for the restaurant are purchased from a nearby flower farm. The tables and booths were crafted by a local artisan, and artistic prints of local farmers adorn the walls. Our farmers are also featured in the restaurant marketing materials handed to each guest with their check, to strengthen the connection between the guest and the farmer. Old paper menus are cut into coasters, the water glasses are made from recycled wine bottles, and the dining napkins are reusable cloth towels laundered in-house. All takeout containers are compostable, and we are using all LED bulbs to light the restaurant.
We started our own organic farm to supply the restaurant called Water Boy Farms, which is worked by the Harvest employees and supplies flowers, microgreens, produce, and honey from its 24 beehives. All eligible kitchen waste is taken to the farm and composted for the garden. This agricultural connection really drives home the journey from the farm to the table for the Harvest employees. Several times a year, the staff also take field trips to visit local producers and learn their processes, from farms to distilleries and breweries.
In the beginning, we believed that most of our impact would be made by the purchases from the kitchen and bar, through these direct transactions with our farmers. That impact is significant, but we quickly realized the much greater opportunity to make powerful change in our community was in bringing like-minded individuals together in the restaurant and exposing them to our mission. To expand our reach and impact, the restaurant established the Harvest Seed Project Foundation.