I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY where I spent nearly a decade in the green thumb industry – mostly at Prospect Park and Brooklyn Botanic Garden. All told, I’ve been in environmental fields for 15 years. For the first ten years or so, I dreamed of having a more direct role in my own sustenance.
During the summer of ’09 I struggled to establish a veggie patch at a friend’s place in rural Ohio. After a lot of toil and mixed results I realized I’d benefit a mentor. Early in 2010 I stumbled into the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, almost by accident. I spent a couple days volunteering in the greenhouse and didn’t want to leave. As it turns out I didn’t have to; they were in the market for a Field Apprentice. I helped the Field Manager – Zach Wolf – mulch grapes, we chatted over lunch and I signed on for the season. Those months in the field with Zach were equal parts inspiration and education. I hadn’t at all anticipated how much it would rock my world.
So, I’m hooked on farming, and hooked on NYC. What’s a guy to do? Start looking up.
Interview by Erin Boyle of Farmer Voices
Kathleen Bakewell: Kathleen specializes in meshing building and site through high performance and environmentally sensitive design strategies. Her work focuses on the optimization of natural processes, agriculture, food and waste resources to create productive urban infrastructures. She is a landscape architect and founding principal of the New York-based Brook Farm Group LLC, noted for ecologically focused landscapes. She received her master degree in landscape architecture from Harvard University and is a LEED accredited professional with a specialty in Neighborhood Development.
Kate Chura: Kate is the Executive Director of the Southeastern Horticultural Society. She served as Acting Director of the New York Horticultural Society and prior to that, worked for many years developing NYC’s green infrastructure through community based projects and programming.
Stefan Doering: Stefan has been innovating in environmental business and sustainability since 1987. He also teaches and coaches green businesses in three major areas: 1) innovating powerful green business models, 2) crafting and implementing marketing and positioning strategies for bringing green to mainstream, and 3) creating a consistently profitable and sustainable business.
Jeremy Lechtzin: Jeremy is currenlty SVP/General Counsel at The Knot. Prior experience includes Corporate Associate at Proskauer Rose LLP and Business & Technology Associate at Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison LLP. Jeremy received his bachelor’s from the University of Michigan and law degree from New York University.
David Seiter: David is the Principal of Future Green Studio, a Landscape Urbanism and Green Roof Design Studio in Brooklyn, New York. FGS is at the forefront of a national design movement that focuses on establishing place and identity through ecological design. David received his bachelors from Vassar College and his Masters of Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania.
Kyle Twitchell: Kyle is a Civil Engineer, working primarily in the Insitution and Heathcare industry designing hospitals and schools. He has also come to specialize in developing support structures for complex pieces of art and exterior cladding design. He is currently a Programs Coordinator at American Society of Civil Engineers.