Plovgh is a cooperative of farmers, growers, and ranchers that sell directly to their customers.
The warmth of wool moves from one to another through a careful, methodical practice.
A few of us went up North and visited a sheep farm to watch and capture the shearing process. It was such an interesting and inspiring morning – being able to see where wool fibers come from and what’s involved in gathering it up. I now have a deeper appreciate for the yarn that I work with and feel more connected to the craft.
A photo essay by Emma Robertson for Kinfolk Vol. 6
"With Thanksgiving fast approaching and stomachs growling for some homecookin’, we made a special trip upstate to talk turkey with Farmer Ryan of Fitzgerald Farms who provided Plovgh members with fresh birds this holiday season.
After the two-and-a-half hour drive, we arrived at High Falls Co-Op where Ryan works four days a week when not tending to his poultry. He greeted us downstairs among the spices and shelves, and brought us out to his truck where the turkeys were kept cool.
“Turkeys are a big investment,” he told us as he loaded the plump birds into our car. While chickens typically need eight weeks to mature, turkeys require five and a half months. This holiday has been a long time coming for Ryan and his fellow farmers, and lucky for him, he sold over 500 turkeys this year.
Ryan grew up around chickens and is vehemently a poultry-over-produce kind of guy. “After seeing the work that went into growing vegetables, I thought it was too hard,” he confessed. Well, that’s alright with us – his fresh eggs and birds convince us that he made the right choice.
Once the coolers were filled to brim with turkeys, he wished us a “Happy Thanksgiving” and we were off for the city; Over the river and through the woods to bring you a fresh alternative this turkey day.”
This is Mileston, home of the Mileston Cooperative and a group of the most open-minded farmers I’ve met yet.
This is Mr. McLaurin. He’s been growing an abundance of vegetables and fruit on his family’s land his entire life. His thinking about responsible agricultural practices comes not from the catch-phrasing of the oh-so-recent food movement but from farming alongside his parents on the very land he farms now.
This is the Mississippi Delta. The alluvial soil feels like silk compared to the Midwestern and Northeastern soil I’m accustomed to. And how it makes Mr. McLaurin’s turnips grow!
One turnip, one rutabaga, straight from the farm.
Highway 49, on the way back to Jackson.
Farmer name(s): Marie and Anthony Panarello
Location: Calverton, NY
Size of farm(s) or acreage under cultivation: 10 acres
Years in farming: 20 years
Most popular products: Tomato, melons, beans, lettuce, greens
Hudson Valley Harvest - Hudson Valley, NY - Network of independently owned local farms
10 oz bags of frozen vegetables (2011 harvest): $5.00
Produce is from Taliaferro Farm, Evolutionary Organics, Amba Farms, Gill’s Farm, Hepworth Farm, Veritas Farms and Bradley Farm.
Butternut squash puree
Steak and ground beef: $9.00-$24.00/lb see specific cuts
All natural, pasture raised beef is from Sugar Hill Farm.
Pork, bacon, and sausage: $7.00-$11.00/lb see specific cuts
All natural, pasture raised pork is from Sir William Berkshire Farm.
Whole chicken: $15.00/3 lbs
Natural, free-range chicken is from North Wind Farm.
Maple syrup: $20.00/16 oz
Honey: $6.00/half pound, $10.00/lb
Partners Trace - New Paltz, NY - Six acre farm, growers of practicing-organic, biodynamic flowers, herbs and vegetables
Pickled carrots with ginger and cinnamon: $8.00-$11.00
Pickle sampler: Orange pink peppercorn, Ginger tarragon, Beets with allspice, Carrots with ginger and cinnamon: $9.00/4 jars
Sage allspice bitters: $12.00/4 oz what to do with this?
Lavender licorice bitters: $12.00/4 ozwhat to do with this?
Fitkin Farms - Cedar Falls, IA - Iowa family farm
Yellow popping corn: $3.00/bag (2 lbs)what to do with this?
Late Bloomer Farm - Campbell Hall, NY - Producer of local, organic microgreens
Mix of sunflower, radish, and broccoli greens, arugula, and watercress - AVAILABLE JANUARY 21
Plovgh Pickup Point: The New School Campus, West Village
Greenpoint Gazette feature on Plovgh:
Dec 22, 2011
Farming runs in Elizabeth Greene’s family. For the Minnesota native, the decision to carry on her family’s multi-generational legacy was a no-brainer.
Greene co-founded Plovgh (pronounced “plough”) to directly connect farmers and consumers. It eliminates the distance between the two by allowing customers to order directly from farms and pick up goods at a neighborhood meeting point. “The outcome is that customers have more choices, accessibility, and convenience,” she said.
Each week, Plovgh emails subscribers a list of products, from which they can order. (Their website will launch this spring.) Pick-up points are located all over New York City, from Veronica People’s Club in Greenpoint to Dekalb Market, the New School, and the Brooklyn Night Bazaar. They hope to start pick-ups in Bed-Stuy, Bushwick, and Red Hook next year.
Greene said getting farms to the wholesale and farmer’s markets can be challenging. “Farms may not meet the criteria of the wholesalers. They may not have enough quantity or crops to sell into the market…Farmer’s markets are a huge commitment on the individual’s part.”
Plovgh assists with marketing and distribution for the farms. “The warehouse and chain approaches work with huge producers and grocery stores, but trying to get beyond that way of thinking when it comes to moving goods is a big challenge,” she said. “I think we have a unique solution to it.”
The group has begun branching out, reaching out to farms in Oregon, Iowa, and Minnesota. Their ultimate goal is to make Plovgh a nationwide organization from which people can buy food from local farms on the same day it was picked. “In neighborhoods where it is economically or logistically impossible to have a farmer’s market or a Whole Foods, we have means to be a little more agile and set up a pick up point,” said Greene. “It has a presence that a traditional store wouldn’t.”
Meanwhile Greene relishes her role as middleman for farmers and consumers. “[The best thing is] when I stand with the farmer who says he wouldn’t have sold this stuff if it weren’t for Plovgh. The fact that we’re opening a market where there wouldn’t be one is satisfying.”