In an effort to embrace a local, sustainable culture at The Hermitage Hotel, we sourced much of our food, furnishings, and other amenities from right here in Nashville and throughout our region.
We began pursuing our interest in sustainable farming practices in 2010 when The Land Trust for Tennessee graciously allowed us to create a substantial period garden at The Farm at Glen Leven. The Farm at Glen Leven, a 66-acre historic site, is now the birthplace to many of the ingredients that Capitol Grille Executive Chef Tyler Brown incorporates into his seasonal dishes. After four years of bountiful harvests including: heirloom tomatoes, squash, lettuce, okra, beans, turnips, carrots, pumpkins, and more, we expanded our access to local sustainable food by buying Double H Farms in October, 2012.
The purchase of Double H Farms, a 245-acre farm in Dickson County, Tenn., has been a longtime goal born out of experimenting with raising cattle at Glen Leven, in partnership with farmer Blair Myers. With approximately 120 head of cattle at Double H Farms, including many Red Poll cattle - a beautiful reddish-brown, heritage breed known for providing both delicious milk and magnificently marbled beef - our plan for Double H Farms is to create a sustainable brand of grass-fed beef that is distributed beyond the Capitol Grille to local chefs and restaurants.
Greg Sligh, managing director of The Hermitage Hotel and president of Double H Farms, LLC, oversees the farm operations with Tyler and the rest of The Hermitage Hotel and Capitol Grille team. Inspired by Joel Salatin, the king of innovative farming techniques at Virginia's Polyface Farm, we have experimented with new sustainable farming practices at Double H Farms, such as perennial prairie polycultures.
To put it simply, we move the cattle from pasture to pasture every few days, allowing the cattle to graze on taller grass, which is where the protein is, as opposed to shorter grass, which contains fiber that cattle can't digest easily. The result is healthier grass for the cattle, better soil and tastier beef. It is a beautiful symbiosis of livestock and land.
Nestled in the Hills of White Bluff, Tenn., and bordering Montgomery Bell State Park, Double H Farms is an ideal setting with creeks that are fed by natural springs from the park. The farm is protected with a conservation easement and will always be a continuation of the Duke family's home and farm which was founded in the 1930's.
While the vegetable remain at the Double H Farms garden at Glen Leven, we are expanding our operations with the new location. We are excited about the progress we have made since planting the first seeds at the Farm at Glen Leven in 2010 and are thrilled to continue embracing the culture of locally sourced and sustainably grown food at the the Capitol Grille and throughout The Hermitage Hotel.