Helping the Earth (down to the worms)

The great work of Milwaukee’s Compost Crusader.

Research shows that Americans alone waste 150,000 tons of food each day. This equates to roughly one pound per person wasted each day. This waste only adds to landfill pollution that affects our air, soil and water quality. The restaurant industry is often pointed to as a major suspect in contributing to this waste.

At Braise, our local food mission ties into care for our local and global ecology. A simple solution to avoiding copious food waste is composting, the processes of allowing organic matter to decompose, (instead of stay stagnant in landfills) creating a compost material that can be reused as soil fertilizer.

 Compost Crusader at our recent Garlic Fest!

Compost Crusader at our recent Garlic Fest!



That’s why we’ve turned to Compost Crusader. Thanks to the services of Compost Crusader, since September of 2016, we have diverted 35,410.22 pounds of food and other organic waste from landfills!


Compost Crusader helps a number of business, schools and municipalities in the Milwaukee area divert their unnecessary landfill waste to certified compost sites. They started in 2014 with a simple mission, diverting 130,267 pounds of material from landfills working with 15 customers. Last year, they diverted 1,286 TONS of material from Milwaukee landfills. They only hope to grow, decreasing the height of our ever growing landfills.

Like Compost Crusader on Facebookto learn more about their work. | www.braiselocalfood.com

A century old business

Schwarz Fish Company.

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At Braise, we strive to use Wisconsin-local products and support local farmers as part of our local food mission. It’s no exception when it comes to seafood. Here are a few facts about one of our fish suppliers, Schawz Fish Company, a family-owned and operated business in Sheboygan, WI.

They’ve been in business for more than a century.

Schwarz Fish Company opened in 1912. That’s more than a century old! The business, created by Herman Sr. and William Schwarz, opened alongside the Sheboygan River and focused on selling their smoked fish. In 1924, the company moved to its present location and expanded to fish processing and frozen seafood. To date, the Schwarz family still owns and operates the business.

They’ve used the same smoking process for over 90 years.

Schwarz never altered their fish smoking process. They use only sea salt and water in their brine and all natural hardwood fires. This method of smoking fish is still used by only 4 fish companies in the state.

They helped start the Wisconsin tradition of Friday fish fries!

Origin stories of the Friday fish fry point to prohibition as the catalyst to this long-standing tradition. During prohibition, taverns needed a way to draw in business. When prohibition ended, fish fries continued on in the heavily Germanic Sheboygan, and Schwarz Fish Company was around to help supply the fish! Locals can still enjoy the same fish fry every Friday at Schwarz’s retail store.

Visit Schwarz’s website and like them on Facebook for more information!

 

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Featured Farms #1

Getting to know our partner farms

In no particular order, we would like to introduce you to our partner farms! Get to know the suppliers that put the “local food” into Braise Local Food!

Jeff-Leen Farm

Founded in 1868, Jeff-Leen farm is a long standing Wisconsin farm in Random Lake, WI.

Jeff-Leen is known for its naturally raised Piedmontese beef, pastured chickens and eggs, and Kathy & Jeff are the fifth generation to be running the farm. Learn more about Jeff-Leen and their long-standing history on their website.

We were happy to recently attend Jeff-Leen Farm’s 150th Anniversary!

Golden Bear Farm

Golden Bear Farm, home to our “Four Chefs, A Farmer, & A Pig” farm dinner event, is known for its certified organic 100% grass-fed beef and pastured Berkshire Pork, humanely raised in a sustainable environment. Plus, it’s located in the beautiful and rural Kiel, WI. Learn more on their website.

Farm 45

Farm 45, aptly named for its proximity to Highway 45, sells meat from their goat and lamb directly to chefs and restaurants. They are also home to several of our farm dinner events, where guests can dine, relax and learn about their 130 year legacy. Get updates from Farm 45 on Facebook.

Braise Day Trip: A Guide to the Walker’s Point Neighborhood

Plan a day visiting Walker’s Point, and end it with food and drinks at Braise!

Are you a fan of our local food mission, but have yet to take a trip to Milwaukee? Or, are you a Milwaukee resident, but never make the hike to Walker’s Point? Looking for a reason to visit besides the great food? You’re in luck!

Plan a trip to the historic Walker’s Point neighborhood, and, of course, end your trip with food and drinks at Braise! Here’s your travel guide. Now you have no excuses not to visit.

1. View some art.

Walker’s Point is filled with various art spaces that are filled with local to national to international works of art, perfect for a day of perusing the neighborhood.

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photo via Artsy

Hawthorn ContemporaryVar Gallery & StudiosThe Alice WildsThe SuburbanWalker’s Point Center for the Arts.

2. Find some antiques.

Known for its array of unique and numerous antique stores, a trip to Walker’s Point would satisfy any treasure hunter.

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photo via BizTimes

Walker’s Point is also home to Float MKE, a spa that specializes in sensory deprivation tanks. Come to Walker’s Point for an experience you may not get to have anywhere else in the city.

4. Go to a show.

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photo via Radio Milwaukee

88.9 Radio Milwaukee, resides in the corner of Walker’s Point. They often host free shows of touring acts during the day.

5. Take in the sights.

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Walker’s Point is also home to several iconic Milwaukee sights including the Allen-Bradley Clock Tower, The Hoan Bridge and the Coakly Brothers’ glass tower. There are also several unique murals that are perfect for a photo op. (Tip: enjoy your view of Allen-Bradley from our rooftop patio!)

6. Obviously, enjoy good food!

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Enjoy everything from root to leaf and nose to tail at Braise Restaurant at the end of your Walker’s Point adventure. We’re open Tuesday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to close.

Check our website for our updated menu and follow us on social media for updates on our weekly specials. http://www.braiselocalfood.com

Braise Local Food is a Milwaukee restaurant and culinary school that supports local food through restaurant supported agriculture (RSA) and Braise on the Go.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for more!

Big Events, Small Waste

Reducing single-use product waste with fallen palm leaves

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Throwing a party is fun, but no one wants to deal with the mess. Since the invention of the paper plate in 1901, we have exponentially increased our use of single-use products to avoid doing the dishes, reaching an unsafe amountfor the health of our planet.

Now, after the detrimental effects of plastics, styrofoam, and other harmful chemicals often found in these single-use products have been discovered, we need to make steps towards changing our single-use products.

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For our single-use plate needs, we turn to Patra for a better alternative to plastics and chemicals. Patra uses fallen areca palm leaves to shape their signature dinnerware. Not only does it look better than the less-friendly alternatives, Patra plates have many eco-benefits including being biodegradable, sourced from raw and natural materials, and using less energy in the composting process.

Next time you are enjoying a meal at one of our farm dinners, know that the plate you are using is free from harmful chemicals and is helping to reduce single-use waste. It’s small steps such as these we choose to help make the food industry more sustainable.

Follow us on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter to keep up to date with all things Braise and see more #SustainableSunday posts.

Sharing our “roots”

Bringing Wisconsin farmers, urban youth & Bernie Brewer together through local food.

This summer, Braise RSA took its local food mission to the next level. In partnership with Roots for the Home TeamLearn, Eat, Grow, and Groundwork Milwaukee, Braise RSA worked to bring local ingredients to baseball fans at Miller Park.

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Using ingredients grown from urban youth gardens in Milwaukee and local Wisconsin farmers distributed by the RSA, Roots for the Home Team distributes delicious and healthy salads to Brewers fans. Starting with the Minnesota Twins in 2012, Roots works with local youth garden programs to provide healthy options through youth empowerment.

In Milwaukee, Roots has partnered with Groundwork Milwaukee — Youth Farmers Program and Learn, Eat, Grow Milwaukee (LEG MKE). Groundwork teaches youth in the Harambee, Metcalfe Park, and Sherman Park neighborhoods how to grow and harvest organic produce, providing them and their neighborhood with skills and healthy options. At LEG MKE, Milwaukee high school students learn about food literacy through growing, harvesting, selling at eating their own food. They also engage in service learning, one option being working with Roots.

Braise RSA works as a middle-man by ensuring that ingredients that are not grown by the youth gardeners are sourced from local Wisconsin farmers. Braise Restaurant and RSA chef /owner Dave Swanson also works directly with Roots, mentoring students to craft deliciously flavored salads. Working with two students, Kayla and Lynette, the students developed the Kaylett Southwest Salad, mixing together ingredients from Wisconsin (where the Brewers live) and Arizona (where they do spring training). Check out the recipe online!

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Rooftop Ecology

Essential to a local food mission

It’s obvious why rooftop gardens are essential to a local food mission. You can’t get more local than your own roof! Here are some more reasons why rooftop gardens are important and essential.

1. They’re sustainable!

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Rooftop gardens support sustainable solutions in various different ways. An obvious bonus of having a roof garden is their ability to absorb rainwater. This helps prevent overflow in sewers and runoff into local waterways, especially in cases of heavy rainfall. (Rain also means our gardeners get a watering break…).

Plant-covered roofs also ease urban heat, through their natural ability to absorb it. This means we have the ability to use less air-conditioning in the space below our garden during hot summer months, saving money, energy, and emissions!

2. They improve health!

Plants are known for their health benefits. As plants absorb carbon dioxide to photosynthesize and do other plant things, they also absorb other unnecessary or harmful particulates. The result is a cleaner air quality for those who breathe oxygen!

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Plants also make you feel better! Plants have been shown to reduce blood pressure, increase attentiveness, and improve your overall well-being among other proven benefits. It’s not a bad side effect for enjoying a meal on our rooftop patio, adjacent to the garden! Not to mention our rooftop bees are happy rooftop pollinators.

3. The food!

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Growing your own food is as fresh as it gets! We use the veggies and herbs from our roof in our dishes and drinks. The result is delicious, quality and healthy food! Look for menu items marked ( R ) for a taste of rooftop ingredients.

For our menu and more information, visit braislocalfood.comor “like us” on Facebook

Roof Honey

How sustainable beekeeping is essential to our local food mission.

When you think of bees, what comes to mind? A pesky creature with the potential to cause an unpleasant sting? A simple machine that creates delicious honey for your evening tea?

In reality, bees are so much more. According to the Natural Resources Defence Council, bees are responsible for cross-pollinating at least 30 percent of the world’s crops and around 90 percent of the world’s wild plants.This pollination is a critical element in keeping plants alive and thriving.

 Braise rooftop honey

Braise rooftop honey

Since it’s clear that bees play a critical role in keeping our food systems at large alive, it’s no question that bees play a central role in local and sustainable food systems. This vital information led Laura Maigatter, Braise server, to a position of head beekeeper at local beekeeping company, Beepods.

“I was interested in local food systems and I realized just how important bees are to keeping these systems thriving,” Maigatter said. “Without bees, many of these systems would collapse.”

 Maigatter (left) with Braise’s rooftop Beepod

Maigatter (left) with Braise’s rooftop Beepod

In collaboration with Beepods, Braise keeps our very own beepod in the corner of our rooftop garden. The pod, while providing delicious honey for our drinks and dishes, also helps to keep the rest of our rooftop veggies thriving, and creates a more sustainable ecosystem.

“It’s not just about the honey,” Maigatter said.

Beepods, known for their innovative “top bar” design, allow bees to create hives more similarly to how they would create them in nature. This allows for happier bees and less chance of bees dying prematurely.

“Stacked hives, while having good intentions for their bees, isn’t how bees would keep their hives in nature,” Maigatter said. “They can stress bees out, or even make them sick.”

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Beepods work to eliminate bee fatigue while also allowing beekeepers the luxury of safely harvesting honey. It’s a win-win-win for bees, our local food systems, and beekeepers alike!

Make sure to follow Beepods on Facebook and Instagram for more information on innovative beekeeping, sustainability and Braise food and drinks featuring Beepod honey! Visit their website for more information.

www.braiselocalfood.com

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https://www.facebook.com/BraiseLocalFood/

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