Born and raised in Buffalo, NY I have found my way to East Tennesee via a 13 year stint in New York City and a 4 year run in Northern California. At some point along the journey I managed some farmer’s markets in New York City for Greenmarket (what a truly wonderful organization and farm community) and ended up graduating from the Chef’s Training Program at the Natural Gourmet School.
Shortly thereafter I decided to give up the kitchen life and spend ONE season at an organic farm on the North Fork of Long Island. That was 6 years ago and I haven’t looked back. Walking outside to pick the freshest of foods to prepare in new and exciting ways from the farm was too enticing and I knew I could never go back to a city or apartment. I had also formed a strong opinion that the least I could participate in the food systems in place in this country the better I felt. If I can’t grow it or raise it, I buy it directly from someone who can. Feeling like trips to the grocery store became fewer and farther between was good for my soul. So was sun and rain and cold and humid and damp and dreary and dry and freezing. Being a living part of my environment, feeling and observing seasons and subtle changes has been a life altering experience for me.
I went to Northern California to fulfill my passion year-round. I worked for Emandal in Willits, a 1,000 acre farm retreat in Mendocino Country for 2 seasons and for Bob Cannard at Cannard Farm and Green String Farm for 2 more seasons. I could not have had a better California experience. Citrus, olives, figs and wine – what more could you want out of a farm? Ultimately my love of the East Coast, 4 distinct seasons and building from the ground up led me to a small non-profit farm in Greeneville, TN.
Living in a town where the dining options seem limited to Arby’s and McDonalds I decided to start this blog to highlight the bounty of Southern Appalachia. All of the recipes include ingredients from the farm I manage, Rural Resources, my home garden, neighboring East Tennessee farms and Western North Carolina farms. Enjoy!