Montanya Distillers is always looking for ways to support local producers, because our own success has been so tied to the "locavore" movement.
We started four years ago by supporting Mountain Roots Food Project with cash donations and in-kind support for fundraising events. Mountain Roots is committed to creating a local sustainable food system in the Gunnison Valley by growing local food.
Then, we began buying local Third Bowl Ice Cream and serving it with our apple pie and other desserts on our Tasting Room menu. Third Bowl Ice Cream makes artisan ice cream across the street from our distillery and uses our rum in their Rum Raisin and Mojito ice creams. What an incredibly satisfying and mutual partnership it has been with Kendall and Matt, our neighbors and fellow entrepreneurs.
So what about local herbs for our cocktails? We are often asked us why we don't grow our own basil, mint and cilantro, because we feature these herbs so prominently on our drink menus. Oh my! Do these folks have any idea how many fresh herbs we go through a week at our rum bar? It never seemed like an attainable goal to be able to use locally grown herbs from Crested Butte. UNTIL NOW!
We are beyond excited to be partnering with one of Crested Butte's coolest new companies: Tassinong Farms. Kate Haverkampf, Head of Lettuce, is locally growing herbs and veggies for us for cocktails like our Thai Boxer, Basil Paradisi, and Bojito. We also buy from Tassinong for our new fresh pressed juices (Kalettes, Spinach, Parsley, Cilantro etc.) and use Kate's Shiso and Edible Violets in our small plates in our Tasting Room.
Kate is farming in a way that most have never seen before, and some say may be the way of the future.
Tassinong Farms is using recycled shipping containers from a company called Freight Farms, the containers are called "Leafy Green Machines." This way of farming is much smaller in scale, is easily controlled, uses dramatically less water and creates a much smaller footprint, all while yielding a higher percentage of harvest than regular farming does. Kate is growing from scratch, using non-GMO organic seeds, and her produce is herbicide and pesticide free. In farming this way, she is able to grow veggies and herbs over a longer period of time, getting around the very short growing season here in CB.
This incredibly fresh produce is grown just down the road from our distillery. A lot of the food we get here in the Gunnison Valley is trucked in from miles away, so having a farm like this right here in CB avoids many of the environmental and freight costs that come with trucking in food from distributors. It is so much fresher and has better shelf life when it is local, which saves us money over cheaper supplies from further away.
Tassinong's aim is change the carbon footprint paradign and make fresh locally grown produce available for many more months of the year than a conventional farm.
Plus, we love supporting a local, women-owned company that is taking a sustainable approach to business and the environment!