Farm.One has come a long way in just a few months. So much so that it’s been hard to find time to write about it. Our space at ICE is bulging at the seams, currently with nasturtiums, borage, marigolds, britton shiso, akatade, red rubin basil, pluto basil, bronze fennel, red-veined sorrel, thai basil flowers, lemon verbena, anise hyssop, and dozens of different microgreens. The ICE side of the room is flourishing too, with a constant stream of provençal herbs, lettuces, greens and exotic items for their classes.
As you’ll see at http://store.farm.one, we’ve grown over 150 varieties now in our small space.
We’ve been out and about on the bikes delivering samples of those plants to a few lucky chefs around Manhattan. Our initial growing volume was small on purpose, because we wanted to test the whole concept of growing rare produce, mostly to-order.
The quality and consistency of our product has had an amazing reception among chefs, so we were pretty confident we would make sales quickly.
On Deliveries, and Being Sold Out
We started our first customer deliveries at the beginning of September. Rick Smilow, ICE’s president, captured the moment. As planned, we deliver via bike, everything secure inside our insulated backpacks.
That first sales and deliveries seem like a long time ago now. We’re now effectively sold out of space on our little farm at ICE. That happened pretty fast. And now winter is approaching. We need more space.
With perfect timing, the opportunity to expand to a large basement space in TriBeCa has come up. It’s just a few minutes walk from ICE, in the right direction, and will give us around 10-12 times more growing space, in two separate rooms. This means we can grow a wide range of items as standard for our chef customers,, while still offering grow-to-order.
The TriBeCa space will be dedicated 100% to production, with stricter biosecurity, custom-built areas for packing and seed management, and a new kind of experimental growing lab where we can try out advanced techniques for larger plants. Expect to see new, intriguing items in our produce catalog soon.
Our ICE space will continue to be visitable by chefs and used by ICE students and staff. Outside chefs can still browse and buy right then and there from our edible storefront. This way we can keep having a public presence while being able to expand in our production. Construction in TriBeCa is starting this week, and we expect to fully move in some time at the beginning of December. Stay tuned.