Blog created in partnership with the Meet the Mentor Program. Anisa Alvarez visited Greater Palm Springs in October and shared her experiences below.
Greater Palm Springs continues to push the boundaries of eco-conscious living. Known for its beautiful landscapes and strong agricultural community, several small businesses have considered what it means to be sustainable, serving both visitors and the local community. Their focus on healthy food and beverage choices that are both sustainable and locally sourced takes the guesswork out of planning a viable and responsible trip to Greater Palm Springs.
Tourism, Sustainability, and the Local Community
Tourists looking to support local businesses and enjoy fresh flavors can easily incorporate eco-conscious eating and drinking into their Greater Palm Springs trip itinerary without giving up life’s pleasures as more and more businesses in the destination embody sustainable practices. Lauren Bruggemans, Director of Sustainability and Community Engagement for Visit Greater Palm Springs, notes that visitors are looking to go to places that align with their values. "More and more, the understanding is that we need to create a sustainable future for the next generations. When people travel, they want to go to places that showcase those values — and Greater Palm Springs is a great choice for them."
Here are several restaurants and businesses to consider on your next trip to Greater Palm Springs that have centered their values on a more sustainable future, both locally and for visitors:
For vegan enthusiasts, Chef Tanya’s boasts fresh and original flavors that reimagine healthy eating. With locations in both Palm Springs and Palm Desert, Chef Tanya’s Kitchen has a plethora of options that can satisfy anybody’s taste buds. With nearly 30 years of experience, Chef Tanya has curated a menu that rejoices in fresh, eclectic flavors and her new innovation – vegan soft-serve at their Palm Desert location.
Both locations also include weekly specials to inquire about, as well as a small deli and marketplace to take home yummy pasta salads, dressings, and spices along with a host of other sustainable souvenirs.
For the innovative diner, Chef Michael Beckman and his staff have put a lot of care into their efforts to provide a farm-to-table dining experience for their guests. At Workshop Kitchen & Bar, diners can rest easy knowing where their food is sourced from. Chef Michael and his team have truly given a lot of time and effort into their entire dining experience. Sourced within Southern California, the seafood comes from Dory Fleet at Newport Pier, while their poultry and dairy come directly from sustainable farms in Hemet.
The kitchen team manages a small garden on site filled with fresh herbs and flowers for garnishes and does their own in-house pickling, fermenting, and dry-aging. While the team also works with local farms to receive harvests, a considerable amount of food also comes from Chef Michael’s home, where he has his own private garden. The garden utilizes composting procedures by utilizing volcanic rock dust, worm casting, and bio-char to safely enrich the soil without the use of sprays or chemicals.
The prior care and consideration toward ethical sourcing and growing are showcased through their delicious meals abundant with eclectic flavors, fresh ingredients, and original concepts.
For the chefs cooking at home, take a scenic drive over to Coachella to visit the Augustine Band of the Cahuilla Indians’ new farm that provides in-season, fresh vegetables for purchase. Temalpakh, meaning “from the earth,” values providing locally grown produce without harsh chemicals or pesticides, while also supporting and partnering with local businesses and nonprofits. Temalpakh Farm also considers how to reduce its electric footprint by utilizing the tribe’s solar energy park.
Interested shoppers can check their website, Instagram, or Facebook to see what produce is being offered and to order individual items or a market box. Temalpakh makes it easy to consider a farm-to-table meal that utilizes fresh and healthy produce even when traveling.
For the beer connoisseurs, Coachella Valley Brewing Company located in Thousand Palms has extensive sustainability efforts in mind when they brew their beer. They follow farm-to-table practices within their brews by sourcing local citrus, herbs, honey, and spices from surrounding farms. Any spent grain at the end of the brewing cycle is put back into circulation by donation to local agricultural businesses that utilize it as feed for livestock or composting purposes. The Coachella Valley Brewing Company has also implemented H.E.B.S, a high-efficiency brewing system, which utilizes 60% less water and produces 65% less spent grain solids per 17-barrel batch.
Enjoying sustainable beer has never been easier with Coachella Valley Brewing Company's collection of ever-changing tap lists to enjoy either by glass or sampler flight.
For wine aficionados, John Libonati has nearly 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur in the food and beverage industry. With his experience and passionate inclination to leave the world a better place, he opened hyphen-, a wine shop that curates a selection of natural and organic wines to serve the Greater Palm Springs area. With John’s expertise, he brings a whole new meaning to what you should consider when choosing your next bottle of vino.
He takes the guesswork out of wine shopping through his extensive research. There are currently no legal requirements for listing ingredients on a bottle of wine. “People have no idea there can be tons of chemicals in their wine," Libonati notes. "It may not even be vegan or vegetarian — it can be filled with egg whites, fish bladder, or gelatin. It can also have Mega Purple, which is an additive that changes the color and properties of the wine. The consumers are always last to know.”
Through biodynamic farming, wineries are making strides in what it means to care for and give back to the earth. Unlike sustainable farming, biodynamic farming implements practices that consider rainwater retention, enhancing soil fertility naturally, utilizing natural pest-repellent plants, and considering biological organisms. Biodynamic farming ultimately seeks a more holistic approach to agriculture than other sustainable and organic practices.
All wines available at hyphen- are natural and utilize biodynamic farming practices with no additives sourced from all over the world. At hyphen-, Libonati will inspire a new love for wine in both the aficionado and the novice alike with their hand-selection of delicious and eco-conscious vinos.
Libonati offers the ability to buy your wine and enjoy a seat on the back patio with a gorgeous view of Mt. San Jacinto. You can stay up to date with Libonati’s wine tastings via Facebook and Instagram — make sure to call ahead as space is limited.
Greater Palm Springs also hosts several Certified Farmers Markets in Old Town La Quinta, Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, Rancho Mirage, and Indio, where visitors can enjoy an abundance of goodies including homemade bread, fresh juices, purchase a plethora of produce and herbs, artisan made cheeses and spreads, and enjoy seeing what other various local vendors have to offer.
Planning a sustainable Greater Palm Springs itinerary? Here’s some eco-inspiration for your next trip.