Hours before the first customers arrive at 10 a.m., before cooks fire up the grills, before bakers mix the first batch of bread, there's plenty to do at Summer Jo's.
Araucana chickens forage in the fields while bees from nearby hives descend on flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables. Workers start weeding the organic farm's six acres and harvesting lush produce to supply the restaurant and local farmers markets.
Relishing the daily flurry of activity, owner Nancy Groth rises at 5 a.m. to oversee Summer Jo's myriad operations in all their smallest details. Like her restaurant's mascot — a buzzing bee — Groth flits from restaurant to bakery to berry patch to chicken coops and back. And like a bee browsing for nectar, she doesn't cultivate a distinct routine so much as a symbiotic relationship with every entity on the Grants Pass property.
"It's all evolutionary," says Groth. "Every year we have a project."
"A building would say, 'I should be this; I should be that.'
"The garden talks to you, too," adds Groth. "It just comes from living on the property."