For Immediate Release
Sag Harbor Restaurant Innovates Rooftop Aquaponic Farming
Page Plans To Construct A First Ever Two-Kitchen Concept
October 11, 2013, Sag Harbor, New York: Sag Harbor, the former whaling village known for its avant garde spirit, is about to sprout another first for the Hamptons resort area outside New York. A garden of lettuces, herbs, tomatoes, and more is set to reside several stories above the charming, historic Main Street, on the rooftop of a new restaurant, Page At 63 Main. The project is the first of its kind on Long Island’s East End, which for over a hundred years has contrasted a wealthy summer resort with a rich agricultural heritage, including a still-resilient community of farming families.
The stylish eatery that debuted this year by acclaimed restaurant designer James K. Pine, has received tremendous reviews and success this summer shown by the crowded seats. The restaurant has been creating some big buzz on the east end for “Sourcing the Best in Local and Organic Produce”. Owners Joseph Traina and Gerard Wawryk are taking the concept of fresh food to a whole new level with designs for an edgy gardening technique including a vertical farming system and solar greenhouse that not only contributes to the modern natural cuisine, but also provides environmental benefits like sustainability, and brings patrons closer – physically and in understanding – to the source of their food.
"Page will be unlike any other dining establishment in the region," Traina says. "In a decade where people are “going green” and “eating organic”, Page is setting a new standard with ideas like a separate kitchen where only foods free from pesticides, antibiotics and steroids may be prepared, and a sustainable food system,” he adds, referencing Page's commitment to offering “food with purpose”. Not only do the gardens produce vegetables and herbs that simply taste good, but we are hoping to give something back to this community in providing families with the experience of seeing how the food on their plates was grown.”
Teryl Chapel of the Koru Collaborative, certified expert in Permaculture and Sustainability Design, engineered the Aquaponic growing system; with vertical grow towers that descend through the restaurant space, and the rooftop greenhouse. Chapel explains: “Aquaponics combines hydroponic farming with aquaculture in a water-wise, soilless growing method. It requires 90% less water than conventional vegetable gardens, and 97% less water than standard aquaculture methods. The system also incorporates fish tanks, exchanging nutrients for both the fish and the plants in a zero waste, sustainable production concept.” Chapel continues: “We will grow lettuce, tomatoes and other "cut and come again" crops, in higher yields per square foot than other farming methods. We’ve planned organic edible mushrooms utilizing waste coffee grounds as well a small apiary (beehive) on the roof.”
“One of the things that excites me the most about the Sag Harbor project is the educational potential of the design”, said Wawryk. “Once complete the onsite “Micro Rooftop Farm” will offer tours and opportunities for students and families to experience this model and learn about growing food in a truly sustainable way.”
He explains how along with the help of local farmers they will grow each plant from seed and then transplant it to the roof once it has matured. “We will be growing a variety of herbs, pea shoots, lettuces, fava beans, grains, tomatoes and squashes. Seasonally we will rotate the crops, and hold tastings for our guests. The produce from the restaurant will be joined with organic produce from local farmers and fishermen to prepare the most creative and pallet pleasing menu all year round.”
Page at 63 Main has proposed the project to Sag Harbor’s town board and plans to break ground early in 2014, ready to serve up the results by the Summer season. You can follow the progress on their blog at www.page63main.com.