Fox in the Garden

By D. J. Costantino | Megan Swann

By

D. J. Costantino
Megan Swann

In a hidden garden behind his Portland bungalow on roughly 200 square feet of land, Chef Ryan Fox grows his own mountain spinach, agastache, shungiku flowers, and more for the menu at Nomad. PDX. His raised beds are laced with an ultra-concentrated (ultra-pricey) soil called “White Lightning,” with beneficial fungi that increase yields, promote tolerance to environmental stresses, and improve nutrient intake. With help from former Mugaritz gardener Danielle Signaro (pictured above), Fox spends anywhere from 20 to 30 hours a week tending the beds—on top of serving his seven-day-a-week tasting menu. “We’re always thinking a month ahead, from seed to plate. We get flavor profiles all over the place from the herbs, and can cook more simply with subtle nuance,” says Fox. 

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