In 1997 in Glen Ellen, California, proprietor Sondra Bernstein opened the girl & the fig. In 2000, the restaurant relocated into its current home within the Sonoma Hotel, on the northwest corner of the square in Sonoma. For over twenty years the girl & the fig has been focused on seasonal local food.
The girl & the fig farm project refers to our gardening project, which encompasses a plot off Broadway in Sonoma, that grows heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, broccoli, padron and shishito peppers, perennial, annual herbs, and so much more. As of last year, about 90% of all the plants in the garden are grown from seeds that we germinate, with a goal to close that gap soon and grow from 100% fig garden seeds!
The garden is on a seasonal schedule. The plants go through their rhythm; they give fruit for harvest in the spring, are cleaned, replanted, and prepared for the fall garden and harvest. In the winter, the garden rests and resets for spring.
The garden is managed by Ray LaVoy. Ray is incredibly passionate and knowledgeable when it comes to the garden, and his love for the garden is apparent in his work and demeanor. “The early morning is the best time to work in the garden, with dew still on the plants. The air is cool with the sun just starting to shine through the trees. To experience the calm winds, babbling brook, little birds and a bunch of vegetables which will be made into something amazing is a wonderful way to start my day.”
The garden is farm to table literally, with usually less than a 2 hour window from when it is harvested to when it is brought to the restaurants or the Suite D kitchen. The magnitude of this project is at times immense, with a passion and business goal to help people grow food locally and sustainably. This aligns perfectly with our desire to bring to your dining experience hand-picked produce at the peak of its flavors.
Want to keep up with the happenings at the fig farm? Follow along on Instagram @the_fig_farmer!