When I decided to build a farm in Brooklyn with my friend Ryan Watson, we knew it would be supported by supper—we just didn’t know how. Then one of our volunteers turned out to be a trained chef.
Each December the Stone Barns Center up in Westchester hosts a two-day, sold-out “Young Farmers Conference” that draws hundreds of new-to-farming folks and gives them a chance to hear inspiring speakers, learn hands-on methods, exchange ideas, make new friends, envision policy changes, break bread together and generally suck the marrow out of their 48 hours at the Center. The conference was held last week, and Henry Sweets, a 29-year-old gardener and freelance writer from the Ohio River Valley, attended. He spent the past summer as a field vegetable apprentice at Stone Barns, and is currently living in Cincinnati, Ohio while he plots (pun intended) his return to New York. While we’d like to note that unlike Henry we love vegetables just as much as bacon, we present Henry’s report from the literal fields. By the way, should you be planning an agricultural project here in Brooklyn, we’d gladly pass along his information.