The Land Trust for Tennessee and The Farm at Glen Leven
About The Land Trust for Tennessee and Hermitage Hotel Sustainability Projects
In July 2008, The Hermitage Hotel began a progam which allows our guests to contribute $2.00 for every night spent at the hotel to the Land Trust for Tennessee. To date, our guests have generated over $157,000.00 for land conservation in Tennessee. That is the equivalent of 1,570 acres of land, or almost twice the size of New York's Central Park. The success of this program led to the developement of the farm at Glen Leven.
About The Farm at Glen Leven
Located just five miles from the front door of The Hermitage Hotel, the farm at Glen Leven is a 66-acre historic site that is owned by the Land Trust for Tennessee. Originally given to Mr. Thomas Thompson for his efforts during the American Revolutionary War, Glen Leven was over 900 acres which Thompson developed into a properous farm that was passed on to his son, John Thompson, when Thomas died. The farm remained in the Thompson family for generations and was donated to the Land Trust by the last owner, Mrs. Susan West, a Thompson decendent, in 2006.
In 2010, the Trust graciously allowed the Capitol Grille to create a substantial garden on the land using sustainable farming practices. Throughout the growing season the excellent soil produced heirloom tomatoes, squash, pumpkins, watermelons (that were eaten by some of the natural wildlife at the farm), beans, and potatoes. Lots and lots of potatoes. These vegetables were used for the restaurant and room service for the hotel, as well as the extensive number of weddings, special events, and meetings that took place at The Hermitage Hotel and Capitol Grille. Excess vegetables were donated to various local charities.
Because of the success of the 2010 growing season, this year we are planning even more. A small herd of heritage breed cattle moved to the farm in the Fall and just recently a calf was born with 4 more expected later this Spring. We will also be adding beehives for honey and expanding the area in which the vegetables are grown. Visit our Capitol Grille blog and Facebook page for more information and updates on the farm.
The man guiding the program is Executive Chef - Farmer, Tyler Brown who runs the kitchen of the Capitol Grille and Oak Bar. Daily he hangs up his chef's jacket and slips into his overalls, leaves the state-of-the-art kitchen and jumps into his John Deere tractor to oversee and run the operations at the farm at Glen Leven. Chef-Farmer Brown is often seen enthusiastically leading the culinary team, other team members of The Hermitage Hotel, and a bevy of volunteers who represent a true cross section of Nashville's citizenry, through a bi-weekly exercise of harvesting, weeding, and general maintenance in the garden. His menus for the Capitol Grille reflect his work in the garden with seasonal dishes which focus on sustaining the culture of Southern Cuisine.
About The Land Trust for Tennessee
The Land Trust for Tennessee is a private, not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, founded in 1999. Its mission is to preserve the unique character of Tennessee's natural and historic landscapes for future generations. The Land Trust works with willing landowners to find ways to preserve forever the historic, scenic and natural values of their land. The organization is supported primarily by financial contributions from individuals. More information is available at www.landtrusttn.org.