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Horticultural Cuisine

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Duke and Monica Gastiger’s RE Farm Café at Windswept Farm is scheduled to open in early July.
June 01, 2019

By Carolyne Meehan | Photos By Georgianna DeCarmine

The writer, farmer and environmentalist Wendell Berry once said: “The soil is the great connector of lives.” For Duke and Monica Gastiger’s new restaurant venture, RE Farm Café at Windswept Farm, the soil is at the center of everything. In their first growing season, there were only two earthworms to be found on all 57 acres of rolling field, pasture land and woods of their farm located near the airport in Patton Township. Last spring, Monica Gastiger received a text from their farm manager, Erik Hagan, that said: “Seventeen earthworms today!” It was something to celebrate.

Earthworms are indicators of healthy, fertile soil — proof that the Windswept land was beginning to regenerate and come back to life after many years of being conventionally farmed. Regeneration is so important to the Gastigers’ project that they incorporated it into the name of their café. The “RE” also stands for repurposing, respecting resources and, in a larger way, helping the community reimagine the ways in which humans interact with the earth.

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