Sustainable Table: Standing Stone

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MEDFORD, Ore. — At Standing Stone Brewing Company in Ashland, plates fly out of the kitchen at dinner time, hot food for hungry visitors. Some of that food hasn’t even traveled that far, just a mile down the road. A mile down the road live a couple flocks of chickens, a small herd of cattle, a bee colony, and sheep.

“The Standing Stone Farm, we have 265 acres,” explains co-owner Danielle Amarotico.

The restaurant, which recently earned the 2nd spot on Oregon Business Magazine’s top one hundred green businesses, wasn’t always a leader in sustainability as second co-owner Alex Amarotico says, “We started as a typical restaurant without any sort of aspirations for anything into heavy sustainability.”

Owners Alex and Danielle Amarotico started small. Several years ago they introduced their Bike to Work program. More than 50 employees have earned their bikes for pedaling to and from work at least 55 days a year.

“This has been a super successful program for us and of course we have tons of Standing Stone commuters out here but a lot of community bikes also,” Danielle explains.

Then there is the trash, or lack thereof. Standing Stone has cut their waste by 93%!

“We have our blue bins, we have our metal out here our hard plastics and soft plastics that get picked up by aspire and then we have yet a third kind of plastic and that is soft, yet colored,” Danielle says. “We have our one trash can right here that gets picked up once a week.”

Back to the farm, grain goes out one mile down the road for the chickens, where all the compost goes too.

“We have cut down on our carbon footprint by having a mile between where byproducts go and get turned back into soil amendments that the chicken and the cattle eat that then go back to the restaurant on the table, so it’s just closing the loop,” Alex adds

But for Standing Stone the future can only get more sustainable.

“There’s lots that we want that we don’t do, you know we don’t have pigs currently and that would be a great next step for the farm that is the biggest protein that we sell.” Alex continues.

One of the main goals moving forward toward sustainability for Standing Stone Brewing Company is growing this flock of Delaware chickens. If they have about 5000 chickens a year that equals about 100 chickens a week. But this flock has to grow a little bit if they want to have all of that chicken be one mile chicken by this time next year.