Location: The French Laundry Garden is located across from the restaurant at 6640 Washington St., Yountville, CA.
Price Range: $
Go on a free tour of Thomas Keller's famous French Laundry Garden.
Located across the street from Thomas Keller's stellar Yountville restaurant, the French Laundry garden is the MOTHER of all culinary gardens. Not only does it have a continuously growing rotation of seasonal organic produce, but there's a bee hive for honey, and a chicken coop for fresh eggs. Inside the greenhouse, you'll find seedless English cucumbers and more than 25 different types of tomatoes.
I first discovered the French Laundry garden during a visit to Yountville in 2004. I was enamored by the cute little signs explaining what is growing where. Since it was October, one of the gardeners had drawn funny faces on some heirloom pumpkins growing in the patch.
Designed by master gardener Tucker Taylor, the 3-acre garden has 53 plots divided by grass pathways. All of the vegetables constantly rotated, and grown in a checkerboard pattern to cut down on pests and disease. Taylor likes to buy his seeds from a company called Seeds of Change, and uses an organic compost tea called Soilsoup. Most of the vegetables when they are very young and tender.
What's great about this garden is that it's open to the public, free to tour, and a great way to get ideas for your own veggie patch. It's cool to see some of the produce that's going to end up on your vegetable tasting menu in the French Laundry (or nearby Keller restaurants Boucon and Ad Hoc).
Just remember — as one of the world's best restaurants, reservations are taken exactly at 10 a.m. — two months in advance!
The French Laundry Garden is located at 6640 Washington St., Yountville, CA.