Grande Lakes Orlando’s culinary practices are on the forefront of sustainability and conservation. From Whisper Creek Farm to pickling produce from the on-site Primo Garden, the resort is proud to share their home-grown concepts with guests.
Whisper Creek Farm
Whisper Creek Farm is a 7,000-square-foot fruit and vegetable garden with an adjoining 11,000-square-foot outdoor event space. The farm grows broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, yellow squash, blueberries, plantains, bananas, tomatoes, a pumpkin patch, and much more. As is natural with its Central Florida location, the space features eighteen seven-foot citrus trees, including tangerine, kaffir lime, kumquat and pineapple. Products from the farm are featured in restaurant dishes, beverages and even spa treatments at The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Orlando.
Whisper Creek Farm is home to a chicken coop where 20 local chickens live and produce eggs. These eggs are used in dining outlets such as Whisper Creek Farm: The Kitchen, Primo and the pastry shop.
The chicken coop has other purposes which increase the sustainability efforts of the farm. The chickens will eat the “waste” from the garden at Whisper Creek Farm (greens, stems, roots, etc.), eliminating the need for a large compost area. We have built a chicken tractor to allow the chickens to assist in the tilling of the soil. Manure from the chicken coop will also be utilized in a compost area to lessen the amount of mushroom compost that we are currently buying to fertilize the gardens at Whisper Creek Farm.
Primo Garden is an on-site herb and produce garden that grows sage, rosemary, thyme, eggplant and more. The resort’s Chefs incorporate these ingredients to create contemporary Italian cuisine iconic to Melissa Kelly’s Primo restaurant.
Further extending the resort’s sustainability program, Grande Lakes has joined forces with Harvest Power to recycle the food waste generated by the resort, diverting it from landfills. Through this initiative the resort will shrink its carbon footprint and contribute clean renewable energy back into the environment. Future plans include using the by-product of Harvest Power’s food waste in the soil at the resort’s Whisper Creek Farm, which currently supplies many natural ingredients to the award-winning cuisine at the restaurants on property.
Grande Lakes Orlando is home to a flourishing apiary that consists of four beehives. The hives are tended to by our trained chefs who are experts in the art of bee behavior and honey harvesting. We harvest approximately 80 pounds of honey out of each hive per year. This honey is incorporated into restaurant dishes throughout the property as well as select spa treatments.