All of our recipes on The Moment are as we like to say, beauty food recipes. What we mean by that is that all of the food we highlight is meant to make your body, skin, and soul happy. As we cook, we think a lot about where our ingredients come from and what makes them, how to do you say it?… beautilicious? Especially with all of the wellness trends going on right now, it’s really important to actually know where your food is coming from and how it affects your body. When you start following the food chain, you of course end up at the center core: farming. We tapped the most passionate organic farmer that we could find to talk more about beauty food and what it means. Meet Farmer Frank of the certified organic Bhumi Farms.
Farmer Frank has an sweet edge to him. There’s something about him that you can’t quite put your finger on, but that you can’t help but admire about him. Is it the way he so humbly talks about how he knows little about farming? Or that he refuses to disclose his age no matter how innocently you ask? Or, is it the way that he talks about how he communicates with plants and is learning “plant language”? He is a thinker, a dreamer… and most importantly a do-er.
Farmer Frank is the founder and owner of Bhumi Farms, a Certified Organic Farm in Amagansett, New York. We meet with him at his very cool, instagram worthy yellow and white farm stand located right off the main road. When we first arrive, we’re greeted by two lovely ladies wearing overalls and surfer-meets-messy-meets-dreadlocked hair. They look as if they had just picked the tomatoes that were now at the farm stand, and, by the look of their perfectly dirty hands, we’re pretty sure they had.
They walk us to the farm beds behind the stand where we find Farmer Frank. We chat briefly around a table covered with half-full Champagne bottles from the night before and surrounded by pretty string lights. They were celebrating his birthday it turns out. Again, which birthday, he won’t say.
It’s a hot August afternoon. We ask him questions about how he started, why he left NYC, and what he’s doing now on the farm. By the end of it, we leave with a very humbling perspective of what organic farming really means and how big of an impact organic ingredients have on our bodies and our planet. Our conversation gives us a new definition of beauty food.
Being a Certified Organic Farm is a big deal. Frank explains to us that the most important thing about being a Certified Organic farm is the farm’s techniques (not just the stamp on the door). He tells us about his passion for great soil. AKA, soil should be something that we’re all passionate about! Soil allows plants to absorb the best nutrients, which in turn produces the best produce, which he then sells to his in-the-know customers. His goal is to produce the best produce for our bodies.
To understand the difference between Farmer Frank’s process and other farmers out there that are non-organic… or just not doing the organic thing the “right” way, we ask him to take us on a tour of the lifespan of his produce. This is where the magic happens. This is where we learn that not only does Farmer Frank dream that produce can be our medicine, but that he can actually make this happen. Day by day. Plant by plant. That to us is the most inspiring trait about Farmer Frank.
Check out our favorite quotes below and the video for even more goodies.
On the real reason he became a farmer...
“I was in finance and I was enjoying my job. I loved my job in the city and I love the city, but I wanted to do something new with a steep learning curve and then layered on top of that I wanted something with a greater social benefit and then layered on top of that I wanted to do something that benefited kids specifically. So, as I added more layers, farming came more to the forefront. And I think farming gives you a lot of room for personal growth, so there was a selfish side to it and a social benefit side to it.”
On treating soil like your gut...
“But the way that we farm, and the way organic farmers farm, is that we keep the soil health, alive so there’s a lot of biological activity in the soil. I like to tell people that soil is like your gut. You take probiotics, drink kombucha, and you eat fermented pickles. We do the same with our soil, we put Apple Cider in our soil. And we also put molasses in the soil to keep life going.”
On how that soil translates to good produce…
“One of my philosophies about growing is that you’ll come back the year after and there will be a tomato growing where tomatoes stood the year before. Tomatoes grow without us. We’re not that important, we’re more like a shepherd. I equate it to kids. Kids will grow with or without good parenting, but you want to give them the best chance to succeed and farming is no different. So, when we farm we try to do everything we can to have the best plants to benefit the human as much as possible.”
On the importance of people around a dinner table...
“For me when I think of food, it’s the nostalgia of it. Sitting at a table together, eating together. All those things that we did as an Italian family in America and it’s kinda lost. The first thing I thought was that I wanted to provide the best food, and have people coming together at a table. We’re going to change the way people eat again. We’re doing it here (at the farm). The meals we have here are family style – it’s intimate and the food is super fresh. And that’s how I grew up.”
On how he stays in the moment…
“Farming is just a bunch of life lessons. And one of those life lessons is patience. You can’t rush the plant and that makes you live in the moment. You can’t make the fruit grow. You have to take what it gives you and be okay with it. And I think that’s the definition of living in the moment.”
Special thanks to Farmer Frank
Video by Tara Sgroi
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