The Department of Nourishment Arts, or DNA®, is a groundbreaking approach to providing all individuals at The Center for Discovery with the ultimate whole foods experience. We bring together farmers, chefs, and nutritionists to ensure our food and nutrition are optimized at every point along the food chain. The food program at The Center continues to make a major impact in promoting health, healing, and quality of life for our residents.
Seed to Belly® is a philosophy that emphasizes and teaches the importance of optimum quality along the entire food chain. It begins in the ground with healthy soil, residents planting seeds, harvesting, and utilizing healthy recipes and ends at the most important part of this chain -the belly. We help picky eaters transition to healthy and nutritious food.
Our Thanksgiving Farm encompasses over 100 certified organic acres at Stonewall Preserve, 40 acres at Tutto Bene Farm, and an additional 10 at the Main Campus or ‘home farm’. The farm grows over 60 different kinds of vegetables, flowers, and herbs and is home to several species of livestock including beef cattle, laying hens, pigs, and sheep. Farm products are certified organic and animals are pasture raised. The Thanksgiving Farm supports 300 CSA share members, which includes staff, families, and other members of the community.
These are working gardens where a variety of medicinal and culinary herbs, flowers, ornamentals and shrubs grow. They create harmonious and sensory spaces that people at The Center enjoy. There are 5 such gardens in the different campuses, making it easy for anyone to participate and learn the basis of horticulture and the biodynamic method we use on the farm.
About Biodynamic Farming
The biodynamic method dates back to 1924 and is one of the original approaches to organic farming worldwide. What distinguishes a Demeter Certified Biodynamic® Farm from a certified organic farm is that a Demeter Biodynamic Farm® is managed as a living organism. Day-to-day management is aimed at creating a holistic farming system that is minimally dependent on imported inputs (feed, hay, seed, manure, etc.) for its survival . Ideally, everything required to maintain the vitality of the farm arises from within the living dynamics of the farm itself. Thanksgiving Farm currently holds both USDA Organic and Demeter Biodynamic® certifications.
Future Farm Plans
The Center for Discovery plans on converting 3 hoop houses to wood heated greenhouses, using our own wood, which make the greenhouses completely sustainable. It will also increase acreage, bringing us one step closer to self- sustainability.
Celebrated chefs are drawn to a place where food heals These are the faces of our DNA program, view full listing here.