I had been instagram stalking chef Dennis Lee and the Namu farm for over a year like a crazed fan, drooling over posts of whole roasted pigs and exotic produce grown on their farm, so when Food and Wine Magazine asked if I’d be interested in spending the day with these guys at their farm and in their kitchen I said YES PLEASE!
Since starting my own home kitchen garden, I’ve become pretty obsessed with growing edibles so it was particularly awesome to have the opportunity to visit the namu farm and pick Dennis’s brain about how and what they grow up in Sunol. Of corse hanging out with these boys in the kitchen and sampling the Namu menu was also treat to say the least. I tried beef tongue for the firs time and loved it.
Each week Namu farm harvests and delivers creates of fresh organic and unusual asian veggies right to the large communal table at the center of the restaurant where chef samples it all. I’m dying to grow these purple beans (a few photos down).. they were so sweet and crisp and just stunningly beautiful.
Dennis Lee, Chef of Namu SF
It was so cool seeing this working organic farm first hand. At the farm they use a lot of really old school farming techniques like this companion planting method known as the Three sisters developed by the native americans (shown below). Corn, beans, and squash are all planted together, each plant providing benefits to it’s sister plants. The corn stalk becomes a pole for the beans, the beans add the nitrogen to the soil the corn needs, and the squash provides a natural live mulch that helps the soil retain moisture.
Big thanks to the Namu fellas for having me along for the day. I had a blast and came away with so much inspiration for my garden and kitchen!