Mimi Edelman: Farmer

mimi_edelman

Photo credit: Tanya Savayan

If you’ve enjoyed African blue basil or stinging nettles in your dishes in past seasons at farm-to-table inspired restaurants such as Bedford Post or Restaurant North, there’s a good chance they started out in the fields of I & Me Farms in Bedford. Which means they got to your plate through the loving work of Mimi Edelman.

Mimi farms four acres off of Wood Road (on land secured through the Westchester Land Trust’s land match program), specializing in heirloom vegetables and unusual herbs, along with a more traditional mix of lettuces and vegetables.

Fingers are crossed that all those items will be back this year, but nothing is guaranteed. I & Me farm took a direct hit from Sandy last year, and the damage was extensive, not just to the crops and the soil that supports them, but to the infrastructure of the place. Fences, posts, wires… almost all of it was rendered useless by the impact of the storm.

The farm is rebuilt now — with help from grants, other farmers, and lots of good folks in the community — and planting in the fields is underway. Of course, rebuilding isn’t a new experience for Edelman; she took a big hit from Irene, too. But, as she told the Journal News last spring:

“Whatever challenges there might be, they’re kind of offset by what you get in return. There are not many jobs you can go to where the job actually revitalizes you.”

In addition to full-time farming, Edelman is one of the leaders of Slow Food Metro North, the local chapter of Slow Food USA, which is itself part of the global movement Slow Food International, based in Italy. Through Slow Food, she is responsible for creating fun and educational food-based events in Westchester, Fairfield, and beyond: restaurant dinners, farm tours, networking events for farmers and chefs, and the awarding of Slow Food’s cherished “Snail of Approval” awards for those who make our food system better.

Want to learn more about I & Me or Slow Food? Send the farmer an email!