Copake farm spreads holiday cheer and food awareness
This was the second year the pop-up event, held in the farmhouse, was organized, and the last one will be Dec. 23.
The pop-up event is held at the farm every weekend in December, leading up to Christmas, and FarmOn Foundation Founder Tessa Edick said a pop-up is an easy way to provide people with an activity to do in the country. It also serves as a test to see if the farm should open a small shop on the property.
“I just like the idea because it’s not a big investment. You can collaborate with different partners and give some things that are available and have fun with it,” Edick said. “It’s really a way to open our doors and invite the community.”
Some of the products on display included copies of Edick’s new book, “Hudson Valley Wine,” kitchenware from Rhinebeck-based BlueCashew Kitchen Pharmacy, and bread and baked goods from Bartlett House in Ghent. The event is about collaboration between various organizations and small businesses, Edick said.
“We grow grain on [the] property so that seemed like a good collaboration to talk about what is grain,” Edick said of collaborating with Bartlett House. “We’re trying to connect people to where their food comes from.”
All money earned from the pop-up event goes towards the foundation, which holds cooking classes and a summer camp. The money helps to cover the foundation’s costs, but Edick is more concerned about bringing awareness to visitors of the farm’s other events.
“It’s not about selling a loaf of bread, it’s more about that your awareness for this comes,” Edick said. “A pop-up facilitates all these amazing people coming together in a great conversation.”
The foundation runs a custom growing program where chefs from New York City restaurants such as the Gramercy Tavern and Gotham Bar and Grill commit to money for seeds so they can be supplied with organic vegetables.
“It’s pretty amazing people who support this opportunity,” Edick said. “Since the farm is affiliated with SUNY [State University of New York], it’s really about this immersion in applied learning.”
Another patron of the custom growing program is New York City restaurateur Danny Meyer, who Edick hopes will come to the farm and visit someday. Renowned chefs such as Terrance Brennan and Alice Waters have attended some of the foundation’s events, and it will host its annual gala July 14 with a special guest chef who will be announced in January.
“We will keep it exciting,” she said. “At that dinner we invite 100 family farmers as our guests and we buy the food from them so you actually shake the hands that feed you.”
When people know that food they eat comes from a local farm it is exciting and this will make them want to support a farm. Visitors have more of an affinity for vegetables when they can pluck produce out of the ground and eat it the same day, Edick said.
“I think we’re in a supermarket, convenient lifestyle, we’re talking about healthy and we’re not living it,” Edick said. “We have to put our money where our mouth is — invest in a local farm by buying from them.”
Attendance for the pop-up events over the past weekends were in the hundreds and Edick said there is a split mixture of returnees and first-timers who stop in to check out the wares.
“People even call in and say, ‘Please can I reserve this bread or that bread from Bartlett House,’ they love it so much,” Edick said. “You have people that come here again and again because they love it and they like to show their friends.”
Amy Samaman, of Brooklyn, was traveling in the area with her family and decided to stop at the farm. Samaman described the farm as a great resource for the community.
“It’s very cool,” Samaman said. “It’s great to hear they have a summer camp.”
To reach reporter Daniel Zuckerman email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @DZuckerman_CGM.