NYC has a lot of tasty Mexican restaurants, but ask a west coaster, and they'll likely tell you that "something's" missing. Agriculturalist and farmer Gudelio Garcia is trying to supply the city's eateries and homes with that "something" - fresh, authentic southwestern herbs and veggies - by growing them right in Staten Island at El Poblano Farm. To further his cause, he enlisted the help of crowd-sourced donations from hundreds of fans on Kickstarter and he's already passed his $5,000 goal towards increasing next season’s harvest to include even more traditional Mexican herbs and vegetables to offer New Yorkers at area farmer’s markets.
Tomatillos, papalo, epazote, and flor de calabaza are just a few examples of the produce that Garcia cultivates that are able to flourish in an NY climate, but which are too often missing from local produce aisles. If such vegetables are available in NY grocery stores, often they are shipped in from thousands of miles away (requiring excess fossil fuel emissions, refrigeration, and frequently, non-organic preservatives). For this reason, we are very excited about the local farming efforts going on here.
In addition to using the Kickstarter money for higher organically-grown crop yields, the El Poblano Farm will begin a seed saving program and seed bank. Seed saving involves leaving a portion of crop in the field until the plant goes to seed and harvesting that seed for future growth. Some of the project’s backers will be receiving vegetables and seeds from these new initiatives as a special thank you for supporting the El Poblano Farm efforts. Learn more about the project’s history and El Poblano’s farmers here.