238: Mimi Arnold on Farm-to-Table, Resort Hotel Style.
Building food and garden resources for an ocean-front, secluded ranch hotel.
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Mimi is a visual artist and garden designer. After receiving her bachelors in Fine Art at UCLA’s School of Art and Architecture, her ongoing interest in botanicals and green spaces fully surfaced; thus, she merged her artistic background with her love in all that is green and headed into the garden design industry.
For over two years, Mimi worked for two specialty gardening companies in San Francisco, and contributed to projects for Google and Restoration Hardware.
Currently, she is located on California’s Mendocino coast where she works as the head ornamental & edible gardener for the Inn at Newport Ranch, as well as the ranch’s florist. Here, she is involved with developing a farm-to-table food service for the inn, botanical styling throughout the interior, and providing weekly fresh florals, whether grown on site or foraged from the 2,700 acres of redwood forest.
Food, flowers, and foliage, – the source matters; she’s doing her best to keep things local and maintain a mindful and sustainable practice.
In This Podcast:
We hear from Mimi Arnold, the gardener who is helping initiate a farm-to-table program at one of California’s beautiful coastal hotels. She explains how she has been working with the owners and the chef to help design and provide the resource gardens on the property. She is dedicated to preserving the environment and loves helping the Inn and its guests connect with nature as much as she can!
Listen in and learn about:
- Growing up with avid gardeners for parents
- Going to art school and finding a lot of parallels in gardening
- Her initial jobs in in gardening and learning about plants
- Her alternative approach to living
- Quitting jobs and moving into a cab-over camper for six months to explore and reconnect to nature
- Working at The Inn at Newport Ranch in Mendocino
- How the Inn is working to preserve nature and connect guests to nature
- Working with the owners and adding a farm-to-table aspect to the benefits
- The two gardens that she manages for the Inn
- Her connection to the plants and gardens
- The research she is doing to help her gain knowledge and skills
- How she got started with the position that she has now
- How the farm-to-table program has been morphing into its current stage, and
- The Inn at Newport and what to expect as a guest
- How special she finds the grounds for the Inn
- The old growth forest, the ocean, the whales – all part of the experience
- More about the edible gardens on the property and the popularity growing
- The increasing percentage of food that is sourced from their gardens
- How she interacts and works with the chef to help plan what is going to be used in the Inn and what can be grown
- What an ornamental gardener does and how that serves the Inn
- The moment she witnessed the broken food system
- An experience she had during her international travels that helped her understand the food system
As well as:
- Her failure – A time when managing the early stages of the edible garden and she took a weekend off, then a spike in temperatures threatened her new starts in the greenhouse
- Her success – The second garden area in front of her house that is truly providing the elements for the farm-to-table program
- Her drive – Preserving and reconnecting to the planet
- Her advice – Listen to yourself and trust yourself
Mimi’s Book recommendations:
Ishmael:A Novel – by Daniel Quinn
(This is Greg’s Book Recommendation too, and the reason he asks this question!)
How to reach Mimi:
Website: The Inn at Newport Ranch