Tired of dealing with Christmas lists and wrappings (bah humbug), I took a lunch break and turned on Chopped. One of the contestants on this episode is the co-owner and executive chef of Brooklyn Commune, Chris Scott. My ears perked up as Chef Chris described what his restaurant/market/catering operation is all about: connecting people with local, sustainable food. Clips of the chef working in an urban garden were shown while he talked about how he’d put the $10,000 prize money back into the local food scene. How could I not root for Chef Chris?
Spoiler alert: he didn’t win. But I googled around to learn more about his enterprise, and found some impressive stuff about Brooklyn Commune and about local produce in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Commune’s mission is “to help develop a personal connection between people and the food they eat.” They support local farms, CSAs, bakers, cheesemakers, and other local businesses in their quest to spread the gospel of sustainability, teach classes, and they even have plans to host field trips. (Maybe they already do, it’s an old article!) They serve as a pickup point for a couple CSAs, and right now they’re hosting a Charlie Brown Christmas tree sale. Love it! The activity on their Facebook page is a good illustration of their interest in their local community, and their importance to their neighborhood.
I was also interested to read about Prospect Farm in Brooklyn, an urban farm on a formerly vacant lot. Their objectives are “diversity in food production and membership… [and] creating healthy soil through our community composting project and farm without chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides.” Members and Friends can purchase food from the farm: members commit 52 hours of work and $25 per year, and get a 50% discount on farm food; Friends donate $100 a year for the ability to purchase farm food at regular prices.
Brooklynites are lucky to have resources like Brooklyn Commune and Prospect Farm providing local products. Please try to do business with local food sources like these! We’re lucky to have citizens among us who care enough to make livelihoods out of producing local foods, and the best way to pay them back is to patronize the establishments they support.