Dine Inside a Carpinteria Greenhouse

Enjoy supper among the flowers of a Carpinteria petal-growing place.

SUPPING UNDER THE STARS... in the middle of a vast field or farm-adjacent meadow has become quite popular lately, and by lately we mean the last decade, give or take. The Farm to Table movement can be thanked for these event dinners, dinners that often see a single table seating a hundred happy diners (or more likely, a series of tables pushed end to end). The food is beyond fresh, and possibly hails from a plot somewhere within shouting distance; the grower is right there to chat you up and explain fertilizing and watering techniques. It is very knowledge-filled and back-to-the-land-y, as dining-out to-dos go. But dining inside a greenhouse? That never happens, or very rarely, in large part because the spaces are a bit tighter, and what's growing inside is very often floral in nature, and sometimes delicate. Not to mention that many flowers are about visual enjoyment, not food-makery. Of course, flowers may be eaten, some at least, but still: open fields usually win out as a supper's setting. That may change after Friday, March 28 when the Carpinteria Greenhouse & Nursery hosts a Field to Vase Dinner.

FIELD TO VASE: The one-night-only supper will be set up, among the flowers, inside a Gerber Daisy greenhouse. Chef Theo Stephan of Global Gardens Olive Oil will be at the meal's helm. As for the petals on your plates? They won't be just for show or garnish: Chef Stephens will use flowery ingredients with each course. Call it a fragrant and unusual twist on field dining, and call it a must for people who love bouquets and exquisite eat-out experiences. Cost? It's $120. Can't make it, but still would like to peek inside a greenhouse or two? You can: The property offers the occasional public tour. In fact, there's one the following day, on Saturday, March 29. Flower-loving gourmands, you're about to get your fill of beauty and interesting edibles.

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