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Inga Howe-Geniesse

Chris of Tweefontein Herb Farm on Alternative Living

In Search of a Greener New York is an ongoing Garden Collage series of explorations about sustainability efforts in New York City and beyond– including the people, places, and ideas that are making Manhattan a healthier, happier place to live. In this column, we spotlight individuals who are making New York a “greener” place in an attempt to discover how, exactly, they are doing it. This week, GC spotlights Chris of Tweefontein Herb Farm, who talks about what he found when escaped modern pressures.

“Me and my girlfriend had a retail store in our hometown (Putnam County New York) and we had been traveling around for a bit,” Chris tells us when we approached him at the Union Square Farmers Market. “We really just wanted to create a community-based project– something where people could be safe from all the pressure that society puts on you to make money.”

“In our travels we saw a lot of artists getting beat down by the world, so we wanted to create something for those people. We were in Arizona at the time when we saw an ad for an herb farm– an 8-bedroom farmhouse with 9.5 acres which has been an herb farm for 30 years as of April. We kind of just jumped into it.”

Tweefontein

Inga Howe-Geniesse

 

“I’ve always had a green thumb, but I’ve never done anything on this scale, like owning a farm. There was a lot of stuff growing on the land when we got it– a lot of the perennials like the mints, the lavender, the roses. Much of that stuff was already there, so when we got there, we decided to make our herb blends from what was already growing. We foraged for the rest.”

“At first it was just me and my girlfriend, but then I started putting out ads and meeting some people, like on Craigslist. We went through a lot of people who didn’t work out, so the real art has become finding people who want to work towards a self-sustaining lifestyle — something that’s good for the environment and the community.”

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