He’s recognized for his succulent micro greens, however after 10 years at French Laundry, the restaurant’s head culinary gardener is shifting on to — if not greener, then definitely danker — pastures. Aaron Keefer has been named Sonoma County craft hashish endeavor Sonoma Hill Farms’ vp of hashish cultivation and operations. 

It’s possible you’ll bear in mind Sonoma Hill Farms as the primary hashish cultivators to obtain a enterprise allow to develop weed in Sonoma County. Maybe it’s no shock that the corporate has the within rail on getting its cultivation approval from the federal government. The corporate’s plan is to supply the type of elite, locavore connoisseur expertise present in Sonoma’s most emblematic culinary and wine companies. 

As such, Keefer would look like simply the individual for the job. He comes from a farm-owning household and graduated from culinary college at 17. Keefer would go on to handle the gardening operations for the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group. The corporate has companies in Las Vegas, Miami, and New York, along with the corporate’s 5 eatery mini-empire in Yountville (which incorporates French Laundry, Bouchon Bistro, Bouchon Bakery, La Calenda, and Advert Hoc + Addendum.)

From Veg to Herb

Keefer spent a lot of his time on the firm within the Yountville filth. He got here to boost some very fairly veggies — and even once in a while, some very tasty escargot — which grew to become a key draw at French Laundry’s three Michelin star successful, farm-focused high-quality eating expertise and the remainder of the Keller holdings. 

Now, he’ll be making use of that inexperienced thumb and savvy for glamorously sustainable sustenance at Sonoma Hill, which introduced in October that it had obtained a conditional use allow for a 28,560 foot outside marijuana backyard and 15,000 ft of indoor develop amenities, and is now gearing up for its first harvest. 

“Very like rising grapes for the best wines, we plan to take an artisanal method to cultivation by way of the hashish we have now been permitted to develop on this unbelievable terroir,” mentioned a associate in Sonoma Hills Farms’ father or mother firm Petaluma Hill Farms, Sam Magruder, in a press assertion saying the ability’s profitable allowing. 

A memo saying Keefer’s hiring notes that the chef grew his first hashish crops at age 15. 

“Craft hashish cultivation has lengthy been on my radar as a dream job,” Keefer mentioned in a press assertion. “And with the plant changing into mainstream and extra accepted, I do know the time is correct.”

“Completed proper, hashish cultivation is a real connoisseurship not seen in lots of companies aside from wine, whisky, mescal, and cigars,” continued Keefer. 

The challenge’s organizers could be hoping that Sonoma County foodie and wino vacationers are prepared to incorporate a finely grown toke on their subsequent journey to the world. A part of Keefer’s workload will embrace giving guests an opportunity to be taught extra about hashish as a plant. 

To that finish, the French Laundry alum can be creating an on-site culinary backyard “to showcase how hashish is synergistic with conventional farming and might be built-in right into a farm-to-table way of life,” because the press assertion put it.