Esopus Creek Organic Farm

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As we roll up the irrigation hoses, oil the implements, comfort the bees and cellar the brassicas and canned goods, it is only fitting that reflection comes with the turning of the sun. The days grow shorter but our vision remains long and steady with the light. We have just completed our first year of certified naturally grown farming in the Hudson Valley realizing a dream much the same way as the mission statement of the Galaxy Global Eatery. The lessons are many and the challenges are great but in the end all roads point to the Cree Indian proverb that I found posted on a withering barn door on the Czech/Austrian border of a hemp farmer while visiting to gather information as to the viability of the hempseed and its nutritional value which read:

“Only after the last tree has been cut down,

Only after the last river has been poisoned

Only after the last fish has been caught,

Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten”

This gave impetus to the basic framework of the Galaxy mission: to educate and inspire people to have ‘real” discourse on the most fundamental of all issues- “foods we eat, their sources and nutritional value”. Yes it is true we didn’t have the 4 million dollar budget to build the most beautiful room nor the resources to market our ideas. But we had heart and desire, two often neglected resources that money can’t buy.

Since 1996 we have seen marked changes in the world including the privatization of the world’s water supplies,(please read “Blue Gold” by Maude Barlowe and Tony Clarke ), the consolidation of meat processors and food manufacturers (please read “The Omnivores Dilemma” by Michael Pollen, and “Stolen Harvest” by Vandana Shiva), the ability of private corporations, most notable Monsanto, to patent the genetic makeup of seeds and the United States Government investing in “terminator” seeds which are genetically modified so that they cannot be reused by American Farmers.
(Please see “The Future of Food” by Deborah Koons Garcia). At an alarming rate we have entire species of plants becoming extinct while genetically modified food is increasingly available on the store shelves being controlled by only a handful of food processors in the world, yet our government refuses to allow the American public access to proper labeling of genetically modified ingredients whilst the European community, Scandinavia, Asia and central and Latin America won’t accept them. Small family farmers are being sued my Monsanto for “using” GMO seeds that the wind has swept into their fields and cross bred with heirloom varietals saved for hundreds of years.

While Child obesity, Allergies and Diabetes are more prevalent than ever none of the governmental agencies will allow long term longitudinal studies on the effects of genetically modified foods and the American Diet. Congress will subsidize farmers to plant GMO corn and dump vast quantities into places like Mexico that have saved seeds for thousands of years thereby threatening heirloom varietals that may never recover.

Since 1996 when the Galaxy was opened and the country was at peace when we had budget surplus’ and the price of oil was 27dollars a barrel we have seen the dollar plunge to the lowest point in decades and oil close to 100 dollars a barrel funding a war that has cost our country it’s moral leadership position in the world and risk economic instability for generations to come while simultaneously subsidizing and supporting corporations that threaten our most precious commodities, our food and water sources. (Please read, “Crimes against Nature” by Robert Kennedy Jr.)

It is for these reasons that I have leveraged my life savings into the Esopus Creek Farm to provide a food source locally in the Hudson valley, to the Galaxy Global Eatery and beginning next year to you our customer. We have joined forces with “Just Food” which is a non-profit organization that works to develop a just and sustainable food system in the New York City region. We will double the tillable acres next year to 7 in the hopes of supplying 30-40 households with fresh organically grown produce. Also we will double the number of bee hives to 12 to allow for better local pollinization of fruits, berries and flowers in hopes of increasing honey production to 2-300 pounds. In our third year we will add animal husbandry and our resident Yoga instructor to concentrate on wellness coaching and medicinal herb research for tinctures and tonics.

I would like to welcome Jackie Jameson back to the farm. She was the first organic farmer who took an interest in the vision and helped put together the farm plan 4 years ago when it was just a nascent idea. She is a full-time media professional and a farm and garden consultant. She is working with us to develop and expand the farm plan for 2008 and beyond. Also welcome Laura Karlen who also has an agricultural background in Iowa and is our new “Green Director” hopefully adding a new dimension to our continuing effort to network, educate and inspire you to “STAND UP” and be counted to protect the environment and our natural resources from irresponsible meddling from government and corporate interests. Further welcome Nilesh Tiwari who hails from the New York Hospitality program at NYU to run our back and front of the house operations at the restaurant.

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