Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

The Perennial: Aquaponics Grow in Oakland 

Tuesday, Nov 18 2014

When it opens in mid-Market in 2015, The Perennial will aim to serve delicious food while being as sustainable and green as possible. How San Francisco, right? But the pair behind the restaurant — husband-and-wife restaurateurs and authors Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz, of Mission Chinese Food — is serious about reducing the environmental footprint. They're raising the bar for restaurant environmentalism by building an aquaponic greenhouse in Oakland in where food scraps from the kitchen are turned into fresh, organic ingredients.

Compared to traditional soil-based farming, an aquaponic greenhouse uses one-tenth of the water and increases crop rotations and yields. If successful, the model could be replicated and adopted by other restaurants around the world. They're currently raising money for the greenhouse on Kickstarter.

On the food front, Myint and Leibovitz have enlisted the help of Chris Kuyuna, who cooked at Coi and most recently trained at NOMA in Copenhagen (the guy knows his veggies, to say the least). The team recently hosted an educational event where it previewed some bites composed from vegetables grown from Viridis Aquaponics in Watsonville (which is also helping build the aquaponics facility in Oakland). Though sturdier and firmer in texture, the greens were indistinguishable in taste from those at a farmers market.

Perhaps most intriguing about aquaponic farming is the prospect that locally grown produce can be available all year. Since vegetables are grown in a controlled environment, we could have fresh, delicious, and pesticide-free tomatoes all year, even during winter when they're out of season. Panzanella in December? We're into that.


About The Author

Omar Mamoon


Comments are closed.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"