From Soil to City

Q&A with our Local Farmers

There is no better way to spend a Sunday than enveloped in the aromas of freshly cooked, locally sourced food, surrounded by good people and great conversation. Leave it to Local Roots NYC to do Sunday right!

Hannah MeetYourFarmer

Hannah, Local Roots NYC apprentice, was the perfect chef! She toasted Bread Alone rolls and cooked up Brooklyn Cured local meat for passersby and event participants. What a great late morning snack. 

Local Roots staff, CSA members, and friends gathered together last weekend at our hub at the Fulton Stall Market for an intimate afternoon with our vegetable farmers, Zaid and George.

While Zaid and George have varying years of farming experience, their passion and enthusiasm for their work is near identical. Zaid runs Norwich Meadows Farm, a NY-based certified organic farm that has been serving residents of New York City since 2000. George runs Taproot Farm, a certified naturally grown PA-based farm that has entered the New York City market for the very first time through the Local Roots CSA.

During the afternoon’s roundtable discussion, Zaid and George covered it all. They spoke of some of their favorite vegetables to grow (artichokes, edamame, and leafy greens) and the ideal vegetables to provide for CSAs (the ones that are tried and true, like kale and tomatoes). Zaid, of Norwich Meadows Farm, expressed that his farm “could not operate without CSAs,” noting that 40% of his operation is dedicated to CSA provisions. George agreed, further conveying the integral role CSA’s play in environmentally sustainable agriculture. At Taproot Farm, 60% of the operation is devoted to CSA production.

George and Zaid

Farmer George of Taproot Farm, whose first market into NYC has been Local Roots CSA, holding hands with Farmer Zaid of Norwich Meadows, who has been feeding NYC through his CSAs and ours, farmers markets, and restaurant distribution for years. One happy food family!!

They went onto express their beliefs regarding certifications (i.e. Organic and Certified Naturally Grown). Despite pursuing different certifications for each of their operations, they agree that guidelines are a necessary resource for both farmers and consumers. In addition to their commitment to environmentally sustainable growing practice, they are also both committed to employing workers at a living wage, noting that 80-90% of farm labor in the U.S. is illegal. Taproot Farm employs artists from the neighborhood (whose ability to work in detail with their hands is super beneficial on the farm!). Norwich Meadows, on the other hand, is the first farm in the U.S. to employ professional farmers from Egypt (whose ag. backgrounds have proven instrumental in the fields!).

Farming has its challenges but at the end of the day, it’s a job of love. Love for nature, the environment, and the people who grow and eat the food.

Q&A

If you want to learn more about eating local in NYC and about the local farmers who provide us with that food, take a listen to our roundtable discussion on our soon-to-be podcast! Stay tuned!