Restaurateur’s Vision: A Hub For Sustainable Food

Published December 14, 2010

Scanning the horizon from the hill atop Woodlawn Plantation in Fairfax County, Michael Babin can picture his agrarian ideal. A produce garden flourishes on a three-acre spread to his right. An orchard blooms on the sloped terrace at his feet. Subdivided plots tended by apprentice farmers stretch across 100 acres surrounding the plantation house. Babin can even see biodiesel-fueled trucks, powered with waste from the nine eateries in his Neighborhood Restaurant Group, carting the plantation’s haul to schools and corner groceries, then returning to Woodlawn with food scraps for its organic compost pile.