Califonia Bountiful


Bay Area restaurant grows their menu from their own garden.

Every restaurant wants the freshest ingredients from farmers, but what about a restaurant that farms their own? That was the concept at STEM SF, where to supplement what they got from local farms, they started doing some of the farming themselves by planting a rooftop garden. During peak season last year, about a third of their menu came from their own garden, and deciding what to grow and when was a collaborative effort between Executive Chef Jorge Lumbreras and urban farmer Sara Gilligan.

If managing the planting, growing and harvesting of a garden providing unique items for a discerning clientele in the heart of the bustling Bay Area sounds hard, it is. But it's also exactly what Sara envisioned when she got into urban farming.

"I love it," she said. "It's truly a dream come true for me being out here every day." 

Both Sara and Jorge are able to share their love for growing healthy food when they team up with the Bon Appétit Food Management Co. to highlight locally grown food and teach city kids about the importance of healthy eating and about farming by having cooking workshops right in the garden.

No matter the age or the culinary background of those who have come to this restaurant, the appreciation for where food comes from is universal here and definitely worth savoring!

For more information about STEM SF, visit

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