1. First of all, please tell us what your GP job title is?
My official title is Sustainability Connector.
2. Now, how would you describe it yourself?
Farm Girl! Ha. Katchkie Farm consumes most of my time during the growing season. I manage the logistics of our dynamic Community Supported Agriculture program, including writing the newsletter, coordinating member programming, addressing customer service concerns, and riding on the delivery truck two days a week, which is the best upper body workout in town. I also work between Katchkie and GP, fulfilling the catering kitchen’s needs with available KF (Katchkie Farm) produce. In addition, I run our stand at the Rockefeller Center Greenmarket in the height of the summer. Oh, yeah, and I’ve just begun managing our full line of Katchkie Farm products.
Suzannah at the Katchkie Farm stand at the Rockefeller Center Greenmarket.
Now that the growing season is finally winding down, I’m already starting to think about the 2016 CSA season. June is never far from my mind! I’m also starting to work on larger sustainability initiatives for Great Performances: local sourcing, composting, food rescue, overall waste reduction, and in-office sustainability.
3. How long have you been in this role? Did you have a different position before?
Technically, I’ve been in this position since mid-September 2015. However, I’ve been with Great Performances since June 2014 when I started as the Katchkie Farm Intern while pursuing a master’s degree in Food Studies with a focus on Food Systems at NYU.
4. Why are you passionate about this role?
What really moves me is being able to see the impact that Katchkie Farm has on our CSA members’ lives. It’s amazing to have the face-to-face interaction each week and see their joy with the contents of each share, and to know that their personal delight is stirring up much larger change in the food system.
As someone who is vegan, it’s also great to know that if members have a fridge full of vegetables, they’re likely eating less meat.
A CSA Member's Ingredient Prep for a winter salad.
5. Describe a day in the life of Suzannah at GP.
CSA Delivery Day
6 AM: Wake up.
7 AM: Catch the subway to meet the truck at the GP loading dock. Our driver, Harry, has been awake since 3 AM, so I’m never allowed to complain about being tired.
8 AM: Open the refrigerated CSA truck to see what all we’ll be delivering that day. Then unload any of Farmer Bob’s produce for the GP catering kitchen or venues.
The truck is so fragrant during the hot summer months. It’s a treat to have an excuse to walk into a basil-scented refrigerated room multiple times a day!
9 AM – 3 PM: We’re off! Harry, the Katchkie Intern, and I head into the wilds of Manhattan to deliver bags of vegetables to a number of workplaces around the city.
Katchkie Farm Intern Andrew, Suzannah, and Driver Harry in the CSA truck.
3 PM: Unload any remaining items from the truck, take a few moments to catch up on email, eat lunch, and troubleshoot anything that may have gone awry that day.
4 PM – 7 PM: Run CSA share distribution at one of our community sites.
7 PM – 8 PM: Tie up any loose ends on email, make sure everything is ready to go for the following day, then head home to cook dinner and pass out!
6. What do you enjoy most about your daily routine?
During the growing season, I actually love the exhaustion at the end of the day. It’s an accomplished exhaustion. That’s one of my favorite things about working in food – you can both see and feel your progress. During the off season, I like that I have a bit more time to breathe and reflect, but I am fortunate to still work with so many prongs of the company.
7. What do you find most challenging?
The growing season is a fun, energetic time, but I have very long days. Greenmarket days are especially tough, as I have to be at Rockefeller Center at 6 AM. I am also a one-person department, which has its pros and cons.
8. Any favorite memories?
We have a blast on the delivery truck. The truck has a professional kitchen vibe: plenty of humor, some stress, and the feeling of really being kept on our toes.
Our end-of-season party at Mae Mae Café also sticks out in my mind. Farmer Bob was there to talk with members about everything from worm composting to seed patents. GP family members came by to learn more about Katchkie. The party was a potluck, and it was completely heartwarming to see all the dishes members made with their CSA shares. One couple even brought olive salad and bread to make vegan mufalettas, because they knew I had lived in New Orleans before moving to New York. It was cold out, but we were all warm and a bit tipsy in the café – it sounds hokey, but the community feeling was really tangible.
9. What’s your favorite recipe using KF produce?
Roasted Tomatillo-Avocado-Poblano Salsa, for sure.
10. What’s the one kitchen appliance you can’t live without?
Food processor. It’s so versatile.
Suzannah and a Katchkie Farm squash baby