Farmers are my heros. As a chef and food fanatic, they are the mamas and papas, surrogates and midwives of my most precious ingredients. As an upstate resident, they are the fierce protectors of our land, farming heritage, and heirloom varieties of animals and vegetables. And since moving upstate, I have had the great pleasure of getting to know many of these amazing neighbors–and then getting to visit them at the market in Union Square.
Rick Bishop of Mountain Sweet Berry Farm is one of the rockstars of the Greenmarket, and a friend of ours. He is adored by the most brilliant of chefs and grows the most magnificent strawberries (Tristar) and heirloom fingerling potatoes, among many other treasures. Keep an eye out for his table overflowing with ramps in the early spring.
Seriouseats.com did a great short film about Rick a little while back. Definitely worth a few minutes of your time, particularly in the doldrums of winter.
I love Alexandra Guarnaschelli’s comment about Rick in the video:
“When I buy your potatoes, and I bring them back to the restaurant, and I put them in the oven, I can smell your soil, baking, in the oven…I love your dirt, and he said “It’s not dirt, it’s soil, and it’s a living, breathing thing.”