Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Introducing: Farmer KayCee Wimbish

Hey All!
Long time no...type.  I was pretty good with the Facebook posts, but I absolutely bombed in the blogosphere.  So here's what y'all missed: 2012 was a good year.  Despite the crazy winter (or as it was, spring-summer), many of my perennials recovered and the veggie garden looked absolutely fantastic thanks in no small part to heavy additions of Croswell compost and calculated amounts of trace minerals.  The first full season of the farm stand was so much fun and I got to meet so many great people through this venue, it was totally worth the late hours and the creaky knees.  We were able to team up with parks and rec to allow food gardens in a city park through the Dig Kids program. And well, at end of the season I fully intending on going at it again this year...
But then (dunh, dunh DUUUNH!)...life happened.  First off, through the generosity of family and almost-family members, as well as an un-expected, but fully awesome loan from friends, my Daniel and I were able to purchase some land over in Dutchess County, on which we hope to build our homestead.  Secondly, I was interested in, and offered, a position as the assistant farm manager for Poughkeepsie Farm Project, in uh, Poughkeepsie, NY.  Both of these developments have left me with not much time to devote to my lovely, and beloved, little farm.  But never fear folks!  This show will go on!

And that's where KayCee comes in.  I believe I actually first met KayCee in Kingston several years ago after she and her partner Owen started Awesome Farm.  She had brought eggs (and perhaps even a chicken or two‽) to a street fair and was next to me handing out seedlings from Phillies Bridge Farm Project.  As luck and life would have it, they are now new citizens of Kingston, eager to participate in the urban ag scene here.  After very little convincing, I was able to rope KayCee into taking on the growing for South Pine Street City Farm this year, even as she prepares to open up a farm with the YMCA here in Kingston.  She plans on keeping the farm stand and also opening up the farm to visits from programs and individuals alike.  I couldn't have asked for a better farmer for SPSCF, and here she is:

KayCee and Sparrow
From KayCee: I was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but I have now spent almost as much of my life in New York as I did in Oklahoma. I lived in New York City for ten years, teaching elementary school and learning about farming from afar. In 2006, I moved up to Tivoli to work at Hearty Roots Community Farm, a community supported vegetable farm. After one season I was hooked. In my second season there I met my partner, Owen. Together we started Awesome Farm, a pasture-based livestock farm that was initially in Red Hook and later in Claverack (Columbia County). We spent four years raising chickens, grass-fed beef and lamb. While running Awesome Farm, I continued to work at Hearty Roots and somehow managed to have a baby, Sparrow,  in the winter of 2010. Owen, Sparrow and I moved to Kingston in the fall. We are excited to be in a small city with more opportunities for all three of us. I feel very fortunate and excited to have the opportunity to grow food at South Pine Street. I feel passionate about urban agriculture and the need to develop more food security in our cities and towns as well as increasing everyone's access to fresh, chemical-free food. I look forward to nourishing what Jes has created and to meeting all of you.
KayCee looking super happy about water

You're gonna miss me, aren't you? No you won't!  'Cause I'm still here, guys!  I still live here, I still love here, and you'll probably even see me at the farm stand, picking up stuff for dinner!  When you meet KayCee in person, give her a big hug and tell her "thank you" for growing your veggies.
And bonus: pictures from last season, which are also going to be loaded onto the website under: about: year in pictures 2012...
A harvest from late May, not bad, huh?

Leanne posing with the famous Italienischer lettuce

The farm stand in early October...I think.

Early Jersey Wakefield cabbage in all its glory.

The farm in June!

Folks gathered for a September farm tour as part of the SPSCF fundraiser with Elephant Wine Bar.

Seriously though, I love June.

End of the summer Dig Kids: Naimah, Brenda, Matthew and Deon help me out with the new greenhouse at the YMCA.

The resulting veggies in January!