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Featured Supplier: Shaggy Bear Farm

Shaggy Bear Farm is hard to describe. Not even pictures can fully do it justice. It’s a local farm using a pioneering new technique called Vertical Farming. Housed in two 40 foot long shipping containers under a roof covered with solar panels, the whole operation is the size of a small barn yet it contains a whopping 8000 plants.

Shaggy Bear Farm outside Bozeman MT

Open the door to a shipping container and you discover a scene that feels more reminiscent of a space ship than a humble farm. In sharp contrast to the 90 degree heat outside, cool breezes blow across 4 long rows of hanging hydroponic rails that look a bit like rain gutters turned on end. Each rail supports a lush row of greenery, growing horizontally in complete defiance of gravity.

Shaggy Bear Farm Organic Lettuce

Bright strips of high efficiency LED lights provide full spectrum light, and water wicks slowly from top to bottom of each rail, using as little as 10 gallons of water per day, per container. Although not yet certified organic, no pesticides or herbicides are needed as the plants are grown in a sterile environment.

Shaggy Bear Farm Seedlings

The result is amazingly tender and delicious produce, as the plants have not had to tough it out in Montana’s intense and variable climate. Without the danger of hail storms, frosts or pests, the farm can produce year round on a 4 week cycle from planting to harvest.

Shaggy Bear Farm Kim organic locally grown lettuce

This means that owner Kim Curren can supply restaurants like ourselves with fresh, locally grown greens and herbs every month of the year, instead of the feast and famine of Montana’s regrettably short growing season and long winters. The nutritional content is comparable to plants grown outside, and the farm uses up to 90% less water than traditional agriculture.

Shaggy Bear Farm Kim with organic lettuce

Shaggy Bear Farm owner Kim Curren brought the first of these container gardens to the state, from Massachusetts based company Freight Farms, who pioneered this method of farming. The farm is fully automated, so Kim can control lights, water, and more from her phone, no matter where she is – a far cry from the grueling life of a traditional farmer. She is passionate and committed to this new way of growing and we look forward to seeing what she creates in the next few years at Shaggy Bear Farm, named for her sweet (and shaggy) dog Keema.

Shaggy Bear Local Farm

This Friday, July 29th, we’ll be featuring a special frittata topped with Shaggy Bear Farm‘s tender kale, Strike Farms‘ swiss chard, and roasted red peppers with lamb sausage from Montana Natural Lamb, eggs from Ryegate Colony and Bausch potatoes rounding out the Montana grown farm feast. We have limited supplies as Kim is still getting farm production up and running, so get it while you can!

Shaggy Bear Farm locally grown kale frittata

Hungry for more information about this method of farming? Check out this great video from the Wall Street Journal that describes the company Freight Farms and the vertical farming technique.

 

Featured Artist: Claire Kleese

Lone Peak by Montana artist Claire Kleese

Bozeman artist Claire Kleese’s lovely detailed drawings are hanging in the main room of the cafe. They are best viewed close up, so get friendly with the people seated along the wall where her art hangs and take a look for yourself next time you’re in. On display are reproductions of Claire’s original pen and ink drawings with pops of color, depicting mountain ranges around our region. The Bridger Range, Emigrant Peak, Lone Peak and others are drawn in an almost topographical style with delicate lines tracing out the changes in terrain.

Emigrant Peak by Montana Artist Claire Kleese

When she’s not drawing, Claire plays in a band, and works as a graphic designer. Montana born and raised, Claire also enjoys playing music, skiing, trail running, & fly fishing, and her art reflects those loves. Her unframed prints are available for sale at the Nova Cafe, just ask any server. All the art we display is curated by tart, and you can view and purchase Claire’s work on tart’s website as well.

Bridger Mountain Range by Claire Kleese

 

Employee of the Month: Kristin

Kristin

Kristin - Nova Cafe Employee of the Month

Nova Cafe Employee of the Month Kristin

This Montana native’s spirit animal is half house cat/half alley cat. Her fave Nova meals are The Standard and Cornmeal Pancakes. She’s been with Nova off and on since 2007.

Head chef Mike says this about her: “Dedication, culinary fortitude, enthusiasm, creativity and grill phenom… just a few words to describe the fantastic person, cook, friend, actor, singer, drummer and Novite who is Kristin. She is the longest employed, still standing and somewhat sane cook here at Nova. She sets the bar high for the model Nova cook. Thorough and efficient, she has created standards and protocols which have increased efficiency and performance in the kitchen. Kris is a “Keystone Cook” held up and holding up our whole crew.

Thank you Kristin for your early morning enthusiasm and bright mood – you are a gastronomical blessing.”

Featured Local Supplier: Strike Farms

Strike Farms local organic farm

This time of year our specials board is chock full of produce, grown right here in the Gallatin Valley.  Many of the veggies we’re serving up right now come from Strike Farms, a 6 acre diversified organic farm just outside of Bozeman city limits.

Dylan Strike

The farm was started a few years ago by Dylan Strike, a Wyoming native who came to Bozeman to attend MSU. He studied Sustainable Food and Bioenergy Systems and graduated with a degree in Agroecology. That education is put to good use on the farm, which produces a wide variety of items, including greens, squash, tomatoes, flowers, and honey.

locally grown kale

We’ve been loving the farm’s kale and swiss chard, and have put it in a variety of dishes on the specials menu, including scrambles and frittatas. As summer progresses (and the weather stays warm), we’ll be offering more and more of Strike Farm’s delicious organic produce.

Learn more about Strike Farms on their website. All photos courtesy of Strike Farms.

 

 

Employee of the Month: Andrew B.

Nova Employee of the Month Andrew B.

Nova Employee of the Month Andrew B.Nova Employee of the Month Andrew B.

 

Andrew B., aka Kandy, grew up in Livingston. Hs spirit animal is a panda, because they’re chill. When he’s not working he loves to be outside. He’s a member of #teamsavory and his favorite Nova meal is the Breakfast Burrito. Wise beyond his years, he is a critical thinker, innovative problem solver and work horse. He is self-motivated, positive, intelligent, thorough, funny, fun and a fountain of random and interesting facts.

His education and passion for sustainability and bio-energy shine through in his work. Andrew is our Lead Prep Cook and lays a sturdy foundation for helping to serve up the best breakfast in Bozeman.

Thank you Andrew for all of your hard work, you’re simply wonderful and as sweet as KANDY!!!

 

2016 Best Breakfast in Bozeman Winner!

best of bozeman best breakfast2016

You voted us Best Breakfast in Bozeman for the 10th year in a row! We are humbled and honored to  be able to continue to serve up delicious food to our amazing community. You can see all the results from the Bozone’s 2016 Best of Bozeman Survey here. Thank you Bozeman, for your support.

Employee of the Month: Charlie

Charlie

Charlie

Charlie

Charlie is from Madison, WI and he moved here to be near Yellowstone and family. His spirit animal is a wolf, and he thrives in a pack. He’s obsessed with any and all sports, and he loves hiking, biking and watching sports when he’s not working. He’s a member of #teamsavory and his favorite Nova meal is Huevos Rancheros.

He’s been at Nova for over 2 years, and his favorite part of working here is the great staff. He is always ready to help out when necessary, coming in on his days off and keeping track of all the teeny details.

Thank you for all your hard work Charlie!

Amanda’s 4 Year Nova-versary!

Amanda

Amanda

Today is Amanda’s 4 year Nova-versary!  She began working at Nova through a program with Reach, and her favorite thing about the job is her co-workers and the teamwork. She’s part of ‪#‎teamsavory‬ when it comes to breakfast, and her favorite meal is Biscuits and Gravy for Players. Her favorite activities are hanging out with friends, competing in Special Olympics, and jumping into ponds.

We’re so happy to have you as part of our team Amanda!

Employee of the Month: Trevor

Trevor

Trevor

Trevor

Trevor, aka “Mustard Salad” aka “Hot Plate” drove here from Otter Lake, NY and never left. His spirit animal is an Orca whale, and he’s a skateboarder and djembe player. He’s a member of #teamsavory but occasionally swings to the sweet side, and his favorite Nova meal is Shrimp and Grits.

Trevor is a shining example of versatility, evolution, growth and dedication. No matter the task thrown at him he completes it with a smile. His attitude and great work ethic are contagious and much appreciated. He is an excellent team player and is always the first to help others at closing time.

Thank you for all your hard work Trevor!