At The Kentucky Castle we're dedicated to producing as much of the food as possible for our Castle Farms restaurant and creating a truly authentic farm experience for those interested in learning more about where their food comes from.
We have a team of farmers, interns, and have also partnered with Locust Trace High School to help train the next generation of farmers.
Vegetable garden - The Locust Trace Agriscience students have designed and maintained a half acre organic garden on the Kentucky Castle property. Within our garden we have incorporated many different varieties of vegetables, flowers and herbs that were chosen by our Executive Chef, Jason Walls. We plant and cultivate produce that will be used in the restaurant and plant according to what our seasonal menu demands. We use as few inputs as possible and zero chemicals. In the past year we have harvested 4,300 pounds of produce that went straight to our kitchen. We love having guests walk up to the garden so the students can visit with them and explain about our program.
Mushroom farm - In our small forest we have a mushroom garden of inoculated logs producing delicious and nutritious culinary mushrooms. Shiitake, golden oyster, and other varieties are fruiting in the spring and fall and you'll see them on the menu in various forms. It's truly amazing how these mushrooms turn a log into food that will delight your senses and nourish your body.
Truffle orchard - Very few people know that Kentucky has the perfect climate for producing European truffles. Varieties such as Black Perigord, which routinely sell for $2,000/lb. The technology for cultivating these prized fungi has just been developed in the last decade and we're taking advantage of this new knowledge to produce our very own truffles, which will be much more flavorful than the ones that are flown overnight from Europe as they'll be used the day they're discovered in our restaurant.
Lavender fields- As you drive past the Kentucky Castle you might notice our mass planting of lavender in front of the castle walls. The Locust Trace students planted 250 ''Grosso '' lavender plants in April 2019. Lavender is the flower of royalty and has many medicinal uses. Our bees also love the lavender and this will give a distinctive lavender flavor to their honey when they're blooming. Ask the concierge about picking your own lavender for your room for both the beauty and their effects on wellness and sleep.
Goats- We currently have 7 spunky goats who love people and lots of attention. Come visit us this spring as we are expecting more baby “kids”!
Sheep- The newest addition to our farm are 13 Katahdin sheep along with their protector “Rosie” the donkey. This unique sheep breed from Maine does not produce a fleece and therefore does not require shearing. The lambs born every spring will be harvested and contribute to the farm to table experience for our guests.
Horses- We have recently rescued 3 mares from the new property behind the castle grounds. They will live out their remaining years while in retirement and contribute to the guests experience.
Chickens- Our flock of free range laying hens produce eggs once a day which we collect and take down to the kitchen. Although they may hide out in their coop occasionally their contribution is extremely appreciated.
Apiary - We have 10 beehives and approximately 100,000 bees who are busily working every day pollinating the farm and producing honey for our restaurant and as souvenirs for guests who want to take something away to remember their stay and get one more taste of the farm when they get home.
Greenhouse- This 672 square foot structure serves an important purpose of starting our own plants for our spring garden and extending the growing season by growing hydroponic lettuce. As guests come up to the garden or cabin, we invite you to come in and see what projects the Locust Trace students are working on.
Orchard- Coming in 2020 we will be starting a berry patch consisting of numerous varieties of blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries. This new addition was requested from the head chef of the kitchen and will add to the fresh items on our menu.
Pond - We plan to construct a large pond in the front of the property to support aquaculture for the restaurant. We will have water fowl such as duck and raise native paddlefish as well as other species of fish.
Fruit and Nut orchards - These will be planted on the west side of the property along the side entrance and along the western hillside.
"Flerd" - This is cross between a flock and a herd. We will graze cattle, sheep, and goats together among several paddocks on the Southeast side of the castle.
Edible gardens - Inside the castle walls we are working on several beautification projects with flowers, boxwoods, and other ornamental plants. However, we plan to use edible plants as well to provide more than just beauty. We hope guests can not only enjoy the grounds, but also feel free to pick blackberries or strawberries directly off the vine as an appetizer before dinner or their big event.
A working farm is a large endeavor that requires planning, patience, and persistence. We are passionate about the farm and would LOVE to show you next time you're staying with us. Come back over time, watch it grow, and be a part of our story.