An Organic Garden Grows In Brooklyn
All About Green Thumb Farm...
The Green Thumb Farm, located in Water Mill, Long Island, consists of 90 acres and has been farmed by the Halsey family since the 1640s. In the 1960ís, the Halsey farm was growing only potatoes, as were most of the others on Long Island at that time. Due to development in the area and more competition from other potato growing states, spuds were becoming less profitable to grow. Realizing that he had to put his four children through college, Ray Halsey diversified his crop allotting 35 acres to raising tomatoes, corn, peppers, and eggplants. The yield was sold at a roadside stand on Montauk Highway and the venture became so successful that he stopped growing potatoes altogether.
In 1978 Rayís sons, Bill and Larry, sensed a need for environmentally friendly farming methods and started growing some organic vegetables on three acres. Today 77 of the 90 acres are certified organic, which means that they have passed inspection by the National Organic Farmersí Association (NOFA).
Organic farming is very labor intensive. While conventional farmers can spray their crops if bugs or weeds invade, organic farmers must let a crop go if the bugs start to overwhelm it or, in the case of weeds, they must weed by hand. In spite of the challenges and expenses involved, Green Thumb Farm has made the commitment to go totally organic. The Halseys continue to farm because they value being able to raise their children in a rural environment, to produce on land that has been in the family for generations, and to preserve and improve the land for future generations.
Whatís Growing in Our Garden
Arugula : Asparagus
Basil : Beets : Berries : Bok Choy : Broccoli : Broccoli-Rabe : Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage : Carrots : Cauliflower : Celery : Chervil : Chinese Peas : Chives : Cilantro : Collard Greens : Corn : Cucumbers
Fennel : Flowers
Garlic : Gourds
Kale : Kohlrabi
Leeks : Lettuces
Marjoram : Melons : Mesclun Mix : Mibuna : Mint : Mizuna : Mustard Greens
Parsley : Parsnips : Peppers : Pumpkins
Radicchio : Radishes : Rhubarb : Rosemary
Sage : Savory : Scallions : Sorrel : Spinach : Sugar Snaps : Summer Squash : Sweet Potatoes : Swiss Chard
Tarragon : Tat Soi : Thyme : Tomatoes : Turnips
Watercress : Winter Squash