The National Restaurant Association surveyed 2,000 chefs and found that the hottest trend for chefs this year is to grow their own tomatoes, herbs and other produce according to an Associated Press article.

Why? Customers are looking for locally grown foods at the restaurants where they eat. I know I do. But, it's more than just customer demand. When chefs grow their own food for their restaurants, it keeps costs down and it lets them control the quality of the food.

Independent restaurants are leading this garden trend because they have the flexibility of changing their menu from season to season.

Do you have a favorite restaurant in your area that grows some of its own foods? I've mentioned one of my favorites, Tutti Toscani, a few times before here on MNN. It's an Italian restaurant in Cherry Hill, N.J., that I first learned of just over a year ago. I was thrilled to find a vegetable and herb garden surrounding the outdoor patio. It's one of the reasons I go back there when I get the chance.

Also on MNN:

Restaurants go from 'seed-to-stove'

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Restaurant gardens are 2010's biggest trend
More and more independent restaurants are going hyper local by growing their own.