Farmers, Fishers, Bakers, Makers: Meet Stone and Thistle

Happy Friday, neighbors! This post is the first in a new summer series highlighting the growers and food producers that come to Greenpoint’s McGolrick Park Down-to-Earth Market each Sunday (11 am- 4pm). This week, I chatted with Tom and Denise Warren from Stone and Thistle, based in East Meredith, New York. On their farm, tucked into the foothills of the Catskills, they pasture-raise a variety of animals, such as sheep, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, goats, ducks, pigs, and a herd of about 30 cattle!  I asked them to share what they enjoy about Greenpoint and what it’s like to be a small-scale farmer.

Besides the McGolrick Park Farmer’s Market, what’s your favorite thing about Greenpoint?
The coexisting of hardworking Polish immigrants and 20-something hipsters.

What’s the best part about being a small farmer?
The best part of being a small scale farmer is making our own business decisions, and involving our family, friends, and customers in the business’ growth and success.

What’s your biggest challenge as a small farmer?
Cash flow. We make 75% of our income between May and October and unless we budget carefully we may have to heat the entire house with wood instead of propane during the winter.

Do you have any noteworthy quotes that keep you motivated and/or positive?
We have a few, actually:

“If you are what you eat, then I only want to eat the good stuff” -Remy the Rat from Ratatouille.

And whenever we feel “stuck” we look at this quote which is on our bulletin board: “We must be willing to get rid of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”  -Joseph Campbell.

Tom’s favorite quote from the movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel:
Sonny: Everything will be all right in the end… if it’s not all right then it’s not yet the end.

What’s your favorite animal to raise and why?
Sheep. They are beautiful, quiet, easy to care for, and do a great job of fertilizing and keeping the pastures cleared.

Want to learn more about Stone and Thistle? Find and follow them at:
www.stoneandthistlefarm.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stone-Thistle-Farm/164824290204679
Twitter:  @stonethistle

Illustration by Libby VanderPloeg

About Libby V

Libby VanderPloeg lives and makes work in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. She grew up in Michigan on the edge of the Great Lakes dunes, and has lived in Chicago, New York, and Stockholm. Her work comes out of her deep affinity for storytelling, music, letterforms, printed ephemera, and wildlife. None of these works could have been made without the world's finest brioche and several good, strong cups of coffee.

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