The Greenhouse Project

Greenhouse is an inspiring, whole food, pop-up cafe project that strives to create no waste. There is a permanent Greenhouse in Perth, a pop-up in Sydney during early 2011 and word is that Melbourne, as well as some international locations are next.

The Greenhouse cafe uses whole foods to make menu staples on site, including breads, pastries, pizza, yoghurt, butter and even our own tonic water.  The menu is based on what is available locally and in season, encouraging diners to be more aware of the impact of our food choices on the environment.

At the start of each day all food is whole food.

  • Grain is milled into flour for bread, pasta, pizza and pastries.
  • Oats are rolled to order.
  • Juices are all freshly squeezed.
  • Yoghurt and butter are made fresh.
  • A wood fired oven is used the whole day; Early morning for breads and pastries, pizza’s and flat breads at lunch.

Checkout the Greenhouse Website for more information and to follow the project around the world.

And here’s a summary of what goes into building a greenhouse;

I have designed the restaurant in reverse. I’ve started at the end and worked back. My dream has always been to build a restaurant that creates no waste and now I believe I can achieve it!” – Joost

Suppliers will only be able to supply fresh produce in returnable Chep crates. Like in Perth, fresh milk will be delivered from the farm straight to us in returnable stainless steel buckets with which we will make our own butter, yoghurt and mozzarella cheese. In Perth we stone grind almost 1 tonne of wheat every week and I anticipate we will use more here in Sydney.

A local wheat grower will provide us with wheat direct from the farm every week, we cut the thread on the bags in such a way that they can be returned and re-used. We will use our Flour Mill to grind the wheat into fresh flour to make bread, pastries, pasta and wood fired pizza. Oats will also be rolled fresh.

All our waste from the kitchen will be organic. This organic waste will be composted on site using a JoraForm in-vessel composter. This will grind and produce 10 litres of compost for every 100 litres of waste. Our  compost will be required to maintain the roof top garden. In Perth this year we have added almost 6000 litres of compost to our roof top garden (that’s 60,000 litres of waste we have composted!) Our cutlery is made from plantation timber and will be composted in the JoraForm, even the baking paper we source from Finland is unbleached and can be processed through the composter.

The rooftop garden is planted in Chep liquid bins that are traditionally used for transporting olive oil. The rooftop bar serves wine from returnable kegs or barrels. The beer will only be available on tap. I have also been working with Mitch from Hepburn Springs Mineral Water. Greenhouse Sydney will be the first to use carbonated water derived straight from the aquifer into kegs. This pure Australian carbonated water will be used to make our own Tonic, Soda and Cola. The house pours of Gin, Rum, Vodka and Whiskey are also Australian made and owned. Mark Douglass (glass artist) will transform the empty bottles into beer glasses as he does now for Greenhouse Perth.

The staff t-shirts designed in collaboration with Space-craft and Joost, re-printed using natural dyes, are overruns of political and business t-shirts salvaged by the Salvation Army.

The Greenhouse Sydney interior walls will be completely clad in MgO board (magnesium oxide board).  Joost has developed MgO board impregnated with Bio-Char so that The Greenhouse can store carbon within its walls! The Greenhouse steel framed walls are filled with straw and its doors and windows recyclable steel framed.

The toilets are Australian made Caroma Dorf, with the sink above the cistern using water from the hand wash to fill the next flush!  Waterless urinals are used and the kitchen and bathroom floors are lined with natural linoleum.

Joost has designed & made chairs out of old aluminium irrigation pipes.  They are incredibly light & have been named Squirt Chair! The leather used for the seats are off-cuts from a saddle makers in Ballarat (Victoria’s last tannery).  Lights have been made from willow trees and rolls of old fencing wire.

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