The Klesick family carved out some unusually hard-to-find space during the summer and went to visit Joelle’s sister in Manhattan last week. Mostly, it took a lot of early planning of what crops to plant and when to plant them. It also helped that we have an amazing team of people we work with to keep the farm going.
NYC: what an eye opening experience that was. Of course, I have been to big cities, but nothing quite like New York City. We logged over 60 miles on our feet (Joanna, our intrepid 5 year old, walked every one of them!).
I keep thinking about the story, Country Mouse, City Mouse. We live on 40 acres in the floodplain and they live in a 15 story high rise apartment in Manhattan. We pick berries, apples, kale, cucumbers as we walk the fields and they stop by the grocery store in the bottom floor of their apartment. Amazing!
I am sure when they come to see us, it is too quiet for them to sleep, as for us, that city never sleeps – it just slows down a notch. We did the tourist thing from Central Park, to The Met, the Museum of Natural History, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty. The 9/11 Memorial was intense and beautiful. We even went to a Yankees vs Red Sox game via the subway. Now that was an experience! Just imagine trying to squeeze twelve more people into a Prius that already has five passengers. Definitely no personal bubble space!
On our way to DC and Philadelphia, I got to see some farmland in NJ, PA, DE, MD and VA. Yes, there is still farmland back east and it is a good thing, because when I was in NYC, I had this heavy thought on my mind: “We have to save farmland, because someone has to feed all these people, FOREVER!”
As a farmer, I couldn’t help but think about what it would take logistically to keep NYC fed. That is a daunting task. No one has a car, let alone a freezer or a garden. Yes, there are farmers markets, but they pale in the need to feed millions of people surrounded by high rises and streets. The city is dependent upon outside resources. In fact, I would venture to say that most New Yorkers don’t even think about it. Why would they? They have to trust the system.
America has amazing infrastructure in place to grow, harvest, process, and deliver food to people everywhere, but if that chain is disrupted even for a day or two, NYC is in a world of hurt. Imagine what a simple snow storm does to grocery store shelves. What would happen if California and Florida were both in a drought and couldn’t produce their traditional volumes of food?
As your farmer, I am working to not only grow healthy food, but preserve the ability to feed future generations. After my visit to NYC, saving Farmland is of even more paramount importance, every acre everywhere!