September 25, 2010
see ehn en
the three years before i began farming i was working on the floor of the new york stock exchange. through the collapse of lehman brothers, the recession, the bail out—you know the story—i was working in the belly of the beast. with my tie pulled tight i’d dodge reporters and protesters on my way past the security that surrounded the historic building. cnbc filmed fifteen feet away from where i was working, all day every day. on the closing bell, each day at four, the intrusive shine of a spotlight would hit me from the side as a camera man walked by, cruising for stock footage of monkeys slamming keys.
after all this hooplah, i had to move to rural georgia and work on a farm to be interviewed by cnn. amusing, no?
today we were visited on the farm by cnn editor/producer wes. coincidentally, as completely random, not at all pre-meditated, totally innocent luck will have it, i just happened to be wearing a freshly pressed imhighoncooking t-shirt for the shoot.
wes is doing a piece on farm burger, farm255’s sister restaurant in decatur (atl), and he came to film us out on fowler farm, doing what we do best. contrary to what you may expect, he’s no company hack, sent out to film whatever the big wigs tell him to. he was clearly genuine in his interest, and this piece was an idea he developed and pitched himself. his questions intelligent and his curiosity keen.
his interest in farm burger is two fold—well, maybe multi-fold. it’s not just a farm to table restaurant he wanted to shoot, for that task is becoming easier by the month. as with most good ideas, however, swarms of posers, half-assers, and quick-buckers sink their claws into the backs of innovators and visionaries and come along for the ride.
the difference between farm burger and farm255 vs. other similarly described restaurants is that as opposed to merely sourcing quality ingredients (which is probably still more than many so called farm-to-plate menus can say) we actually grow them ourselves. it’s not farm to table—it’s farm AND table. (booyah!)
taking it next level, wes was keen to the fact that farm burger is serving this food at economical prices—giving access of farm fresh food to the people. not just some people. all the people.
coming from brooklyn, eating farm fresh food at a hip restaurant is no tall order to fill. the bill, however, is a horse of a different color. even a niche industry such as ours, which prides itself on treating farmers fairly, can be criticized for mainly catering to deep pocketed soccer moms and big city socialites.
preaching about food access is one thing—delivering is quite another. developing farm to table concepts that holds access as a priority needs to be a focus going forward.
the cnn piece is slotted to air on the twenty seventh, and i will put a link up as soon as it does.