Mother Nature’s Daughters

New York Times Writer, Michael Tortorello ponders the dominance of female farmers in New York City’s gardens in Mother Nature’s Daughters.

“If you wanted to find someone picking a fat tomato this week in the City of New York, you could go see Esther and Pam, near the kiddie-pool planters on the rooftop of the Metro Baptist Church in Hell’s Kitchen. Or Maggie, Benia, Iyeshima and Kristina at the Bushwick Campus Farm and Greenhouse. Or Deborah, Shella, Sarah, Kate, Rachel and Chelsea in the West Indian haven of East New York Farms. Or Kennon, Leah, Jennifer and Charlotte at the Queens County Farm Museum, which has been planted continuously since 1697. Or Mirem, Cecilia and (another) Esther in the converted parking lot outside P.S. 216 in Gravesend. Or Nick, Caspar and Jared, on a one-acre farm and orchard in Randalls Island Park.

“Wait a sec. Nick, Caspar and Jared: Are those unconventional girls’ names now, like Kennedy and Reagan? Because if you’re looking for a farm-fresh tomato in the city this summer, you’re likely to find a woman growing it.”

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