We Bought the Farm!

We Bought the Farm!

RE Farm Café has a permanent home at Windswept Farm! Located in Patton Township near the airport, Windswept Farm was a former B&B, wedding venue, and home to award winning sheep. Situated on 57 acres of rolling fields, pasture lands and woods, the café will be developed through repurposing the existing house while the farm transitions to becoming certified organic. Agriforesty, integrative experimental and demonstration agriculture, and constructed wetlands are a few of the exciting components already in the works.

Duke and Monica Gastiger, owners of Spats Café and The Rathskeller are embarking on their adventure as “young” new farmers. They are excited to share the location and great potential of Windswept Farm. RE Farm Café, a farm to fork establishment, will serve local, seasonal food, prepared with fresh ingredients grown just outside the door. A Living Building Challenge project, RE Farm Café will surpass sustainability and be regenerative. Strengthening the local food system, celebrating small family farm heritage and identifying ways to diversify and augment farm incomes are just a few of the goals. RE Farm Café seeks to be a community resource.

Some key design features of the café include an open kitchen offering theater in the round dining, a private dining room, and 360 ⁰ views of spectacular central PA!

Collaborative efforts with Ferguson and Patton Townships have been integral in realizing this vision. RE Farm Café’s innovative design team includes Envinity, PennTerra, 7Group, Biohabitats, and leaders in agroforestry and ecology. Multiple PSU professionals are key players providing student opportunity and support.

Grand opening is anticipated in 2018 at the intersection of food and green.

Good Food Takes Time

Good Food Takes Time

April 16, 2016

For Information Contact: info@refarmcafe.com

Good Food Takes Time: RE Farm Café Reopens Search for Location

State College, PA: The much anticipated groundbreaking of the RE Farm Café has been delayed from the summer start as owners Duke and Monica Gastiger pursue a new location. The planned location in Ferguson Township is no longer a viable option for the innovative farm to table restaurant.

“We are committed to creating a truly unique experience that is a destination spot for our customers,” said Duke Gastiger. “This type of specialty operation has very specific needs, and as we moved forward in the process, we realized it was necessary to find a different location for our project. As Monica and I have learned through our experiences with Spats Cafe and The All-American Rathskeller, we know that good food takes time. And we need to take the time necessary before embarking on this ambitious project.”

“People have been extremely supportive of this concept, so we wanted to keep everyone abreast of the progress,” said Monica Gastiger, “We are very excited about its prospects and hope to have news to share in the near future.”

The Gastigers value the rich history of this region’s agricultural roots and celebrate the opportunities to be leaders in sustainable development and delicious food. They envision that RE Farm Café will be an educational resource for the community, offering locally sourced foods creatively prepared by experienced chefs and served in a unique atmosphere. Ultimately, their goal is to be a model for sustainable development and agricultural diversification that can serve to preserve small farms and open space—both hallmarks of this region.

The Gastigers have assembled a professional team to move the project ahead that includes: 7-“Group – Architecture and Sustainability Consultants, Kutztown, PA; Envinity Inc.--Construction Management and Design Development, State College, PA; PennTerra Engineering--Land Development and Civil Engineers, State College, BioHabitats--Wastewater and Wetland Consultants, Baltimore, MD; and Downstream Strategies—Landscape Architecture, Morgantown, WV.

“As I like to say, Good Food Takes Time,” said Duke, “And RE is no exception. Thank you for your support!”

Look for updates on RE Farm Café at REFarmCafe.com

Chef de Cuisine:  RE Farm Café, State College, PA Position opening

Chef de Cuisine: RE Farm Café, State College, PA Position opening

Position opening:  September 2016 or by circumstance, sooner.

“…..no dish can be better than its ingredients and that the best ingredients are usually local.  Freshness is ephemeral and geography expresses itself in the taste of food, sometimes subtly and sometimes profoundly.”   Jerry Traunfeld, Poppy and Herbfarm

We are creating a “world class” working farm restaurant with that same philosophy to celebrate small farm heritage and strengthen community connections in our local food system.  Already proprietors of a fine-dining restaurant with a 30 year success story, Monica and Duke Gastiger have partnered with a long-time friend and farm owner and an extraordinary planning and construction team to create an “intersection of food and green”. Currently under construction, the 58-seat seasonal RE Farm Café is the focal point of a 35 acre agricultural restorative project just 15 minutes from downtown State College and Penn State University in central Pennsylvania’s beautiful Nittany Valley.  With 8000 fruit trees, a cidery, 7 greenhouses, 20 acres of field crops, planned herds of meat animals the project will be a study in integrative agriculture for traditional farm diversity.  Already registered as a Living Building Challenge project, design and programming leads us beyond sustainability, with building imperatives that include net zero energy and water.  Our cooks will work in the organic greenhouses and fields for a more complete understanding of the farm-to-plate relationship, “perform” in an open theater kitchen and also be service guides for our patrons throughout the evening meal.  RE Farm Café will also serve as a “sustainability lab” for all age learners with cooking classes and interpretive and tours of the farm, forest and infrastructure.


 
  2016 Floor Plan  RE Farm Cafe Silo Rendering
 
To be successful, our “frontier” chef must have an absolute commitment to a small team work ethic, be genuinely warm and hospitable, have an energetic and deep interest in local, organic and well-crafted foods for a healthier community, have sincere respect for ingredients from start to finish, and be able to provide consistent excellence and “unexpected” creativity in service and product.                
To be considered our chef must have:

  • A culinary degree from an accredited school.
  • 7 years experience in full-service restaurants.
  • 3 years supervision experience as Chef or Sous Chef.
  • Technical expertise and communication skills to be both teacher and practitioner.
  • Understanding of local food systems and sustainable food practices including all-induction cooking, preserving and composting.
  • Community leadership skills.
  •  NO fear of getting one’s hands dirty.
To be secure and fulfilled our chef will have:
  • A salary commensurate with work experience and skill level.
  • Group medical and retirement plans.
  • An opportunity to be at the helm of an exciting experiment in small farm income diversity and an industry leading restaurant building and operation.
  • A work environment that is satisfying and rich in personal and professional information exchanges with workers, peers and the community.
To be an applicant for our chef the requirements are:
  • A one page statement of your belief system in sustainability, local food systems and the “farm-to-fork” movement.
  • A one paragraph bio briefly entailing level of formal education and work experience.
  • A one line quote that you penned explaining your penchant for pleasing people.
 
 
Forward Questions and/or apply in strictest confidence by snail mail only to:
Duke and Monica Gastiger
600 West Foster Ave.
State College, PA 16801
 
FYI            refarmcafe.com
                  Spatscafe.com
                  Theskeller.com

Meet Erik Hagan, RE Farm Cafe's Farm Manager

Meet Erik Hagan, RE Farm Cafe's Farm Manager


Erik has been teaching, designing and consulting in the field of sustainability of food systems and ecological planning since 2006, providing education and consultation on sustainable agriculture and permaculture systems for both homesteading and large scale farming operations in a number of states across the US. Erik's primary focus in this area has been developing diversified agriculturally productive systems based on site-specific ecological context to enhance site productivity and conservation value.
Work History

  • 2008-2014, Owned and operated a diversified, vegetable, fruit and livestock farm specializing in the production of vegetables and fruit for local markets, focusing primarily on heirloom and locally adapted species. A number of vegetable varieties were developed and produced on site for use on-farm and sale through the Seed Saver Exchange catalog.
  • Recognizing the importance of community development and involvement for enhancing a locally based sustainable food system, Erik and his wife, started the West Olympia Farmers Market in 2010 in order to provide a place for start up farming operations to directly reach the public with our products. In addition, Erik became heavily involved in county level food system and agricultural politics to aid in encouraging small farm development in the region and as Vice-President of our local Grange hall, provided networking and social opportunities for small farmers to engage in community and political transformation dialogue.
  • 2013, Coordinated the South Puget Sound Small Farms program, a partnership between Washington State University Extension and Mason Conservation District to provide education, outreach and technical support on sustainable agricultural and on-farm natural resource enhancement opportunities.
Erik relocated to State College in January 2015 to obtain a PhD in Ecology, researching and designing agroforestry and sustainable agricultural strategies for social (economic and cultural) and ecological resilience. Concurrently, he is coordinating an agroforestry professional development training program for the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic region to promote tree/shrub cropping systems for enhanced economic and environmental sustainability for the eastern United States. Erik sees the production of food and resources as not to be isolated on a heavily managed farms, but integrated into the place and social context of the community for which the managed systems provides. Thus, leading to a cultural perspective on honoring the resource, labor and experience for how it produced, processed and consumed.

Making History!!

Making History!!

On June 15, 2015, the Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors held a public hearing and unanimously and enthusiastically passed the ordinance that allows FARM CAFE ESTABLISHMENTS as a conditional use! Full steam ahead with RE Farm Cafe!!

II. PUBLIC HEARINGS – ORDINANCES

1. A PUBLIC HEARING ON AN ORDINANCE OF THE TOWNSHIP OF FERGUSON, CENTRE COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, AMENDING THE CODE OF ORDINANCES, CHAPTER 27, ZONING, AS FOLLOWS: (1) BY ESTABLISHING PART 2, DISTRICT REGULATIONS, SECTION 204.QQ REGULATING FARM CAFÉ ESTABLISHMENTS; (2) BY AMENDING PART 3, RURAL DISTRICTS, SECTION 301, RURAL AGRICULTURAL DISTRICT, TABLE 301, CRITERIA AND STANDARDS FOR THE RURAL AGRICULTURAL DISTRICT TO PERMIT FARM CAFÉ ESTABLISHMENTS AS A CONDITIONAL USE ACCESSORY TO A PRIMARY USE IN THE RURAL AGRICULTURAL ZONING DISTRICT; AND (3) BY AMENDING PART 12, DEFINITIONS, SECTION 1202 TO ADD THE DEFINITION OF FARM CAFÉ.

Site Planning Continues

Site Planning Continues

The orange tape is the rough stake out of the building footprint. This foot photo was taken standing in the spot that will be the open teaching kitchen of re!