Truck’s owner Nancy Roper loves Bedford. She says we’ll eat anything – stinging nettles, purple basil and over four hundred pounds of rutabagas last year. Maybe that’s because Truck creates such imaginative seasonal dishes!
Nancy’s latest creation is a square, straw bale garden just behind the restaurant, with a variety of vegetables and flowers grown right out of the straw. It’s a European technique to get the most from small spaces. The bales are nitrogen-rich and loaded with ingredients that break down easily into rich soil. They act as living walls, and are as beautiful as they are practical.
A restaurateur since 1994, Nancy began to see that what she fed her family at home was often healthier than restaurant fare, and created less waste. With Truck, she resolved to focus on healthy food supporting local farmers and environmentally sensitive practices. For example, she recycles every bottle (not a common restaurant practice, actually) and serves wine on tap to reduce bottle waste.
Most ingredients at Truck are certified organic. For some of her farmers, converting to organic is too costly — farmers have to leave fields fallow for three years before embarking on organic growing — so she also buys from non-certified farms following NOFA’s (Northeast Organic Food Association) organic-friendly guidelines.
It’s no wonder Truck’s parking lot is packed every night when the menu highlights rhubarb margaritas (the rhubarb supplied by Josh and Ashley Frost’s Seedswell Farm on Guard Hill Farm) or salmon burritos with a salsa made of Nancy’s homegrown cucumbers.
Judging from Nancy’s garden, expect the late summer and fall menu to feature her bumper crop of habanero peppers for “Mucho Macho” tacos, tomatillos, three different varieties of basil, and squash galore.