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CHEAP EATS Earth Day Edition: Gather in Omaha

Posted at 10:22 AM, Apr 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-20 11:22:04-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — There's something pretty remarkable happening inside one of the restaurants in the Old Market. You can't see it, but the owners say their goal is to create a sustainable future for the planet — by reducing our carbon footprint.

As part of this week's Earth Day, Everyday series — 3 News Now Anchor Serese Cole reports how Gather in Omaha is providing the freshest farm-to-table produce — one green at a time. It's a special Earth Day edition of Cheap Eats.

Gather in Omaha is known for two things: It's Urban Chic dining experience and just one floor below the restaurant — it's Urban Farm.

"We have Arugula, Basil, Mustard Greens, Romaine, Premium Mixes, Bok Choy - anything you can imagine," Farm Manager Mitchell Yost said.

It's a farm — with a mission.

"Rather than rely on farms that can be up to 1500 miles away to source some of the greens - we're able source it down one flight of stairs and it will always be harvested within two weeks of when you try it," Mitchell added.

It's called a Hydroponic Vertical Farm. The greens are grown in nutrient-rich water.

Mitchell explained how it works.

"Typically, this is a 30-gallon reservoir down here. The pump activates and it brings the water all the way to the top," he demonstrated.

As the water makes its way back down, it splits into each section — eventually refilling the base.

"And we're able to reuse that water on the next cycle," he added. "On average, with traditional farming methods, it takes about 36 gallons of water to produce one pound of produce. Using this type of method, we're able to save 95 percent of that water - which means in the long run - we're projected to save 145, 000 gallons of water if my calculations are correct."

Other benefits include — no soil, no chemicals or pesticides and no shipping. And this produce can be grown year-round.

But Mitchell says the greatest perk for customers — is the taste.

"That sets us apart from everybody else in Omaha," said Gather in Omaha Chef de Cuisine Tony Falknor. "The first time I tried the greens downstairs, it was just mind blowing. I had never had anything like it."

Chef Tony takes pride in using their farm fresh ingredients and demonstrated how he incorporates their greens into some of Gather in Omaha's favorite meals.

For starters, the roasted baby carrots appetizer. It highlights the farm's fresh Arugula.

"So, with this - there are a few sweet components to kind of counter the bitterness of the arugula," he explained.

Like their cashew cheese, house sauce, pistachio chutney and spiced honey.

"It's very fresh, very filling and a lot of people order this as a meal," Chef Tony shared.

He also made their Pan-Seared Miso Salmon.

"We do serve our salmon with the skin on - it just keeps the salmon moist," Chef Tony said.

The salmon is coated with Miso butter and features the farm's Bok Choy and Wasabi Mustard Greens along with their Sea Island Peas.

Last but not least, a Gather favorite — the Red Wine Marinated Bison.

"I believe we are the only people around that do bison steaks," Chef Tony shared.

After it's smoked and grilled, the bison is coated in herb butter and served with medallion sweet potatoes, pickled beets and broccolini.

The farm freshness can't be denied.

"I challenge anybody out there - try upstairs to see what real farm flavor tastes like," Mitchell said.

It's good for customers and Mother Earth.

"It can make a dent in making sure we're contributing to the environment," Mitchell smiled.

Gather in Omaha is at 1108 Howard Street and is open every day at 5:00 p.m.

To see the full menu, go to

Their urban farm produces about three thousand pounds of produce every year — which is actually more than the restaurant needs. So, they also package and sell their fresh greens. You can buy them at the restaurant or at Wohlner's Grocery Store & Deli in Midtown.

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