Patch recently visited Shadle Farm in Durham, a majestic property that has undergone a remarkable transformation at the hands of owners Mark and Ami Shadle.
The couple recently unveiled gmonkey, a "Farm 2 Street" mobile kitchen considered the country's first all-vegan, eco-friendly food truck.
Working in a newly rennovated kitchen in a wing of the couple's 1730's farmhouse, Mark Shadle, an award winning chef and co-owner of It's Only Natural Restaurant in Middletown, blends freshly harvested ingredients from the farm and select food vendors to create a unique menu that includes vegan donuts, tofu vegetable lasagna and a wild jungle peanut butter cacao smoothie.
"The ingredients that go into our dishes are of the same top-notch quality and freshness of the ingredients at fine restaurants," Shadle explains. "But this is noordinary food truck. Our goal is to break any stereotypes of typical street vending foods and redefine them in a totally green, provocative, and innovative way."
Ami (Beach) Shadle, who is the founder and owner of the Colonic Institute of West Hartford, as well as a nutritionist, chef and author said the couple has been busy turning the once abandoned farmland back into active producer of ingredients for the business.
"The pesto we make comes from our Shadle Farm basil. We're putting in beehives this year for the first time so we can source our own local honey," she explained. The couple also grows greens, fruits and vegetables on the farm.
The mobile truck, which recently served about 1,000 people during its maiden voyage to Tunxis College for Earthstock 2011, is fueled by Hale Hill Farm Biofuels of Chester.
Be sure to check out gmonkey at the Durham Farmer's Market on Thursday, May 5, from 3-6 p.m.