During the shutdown celebrity chef Dan Barber set up the Kitchen Farming Project in an attempt to save the farm-to-table movement and highlight the importance of small regenerative farms. Why? Barber is worried that independent farmers are in danger of going out of business as a result of the covid crisis. Whilst big farms are supported by the government, noone is looking out for organic farms who have lost their main clients. They might not survive the season.
“It’s symbolic to start a conversation about what’s being lost,” he says. “Cooks don’t want to return to a world that’s serviced by megafarms in California, Arizona, and Texas. That’s what this comes down to. Chefs have been part of this exciting social movement called farm-to-table, and now this is a real inflection point,” he adds
The Kitchen Farming Project allied with 104 cooks around the world who also started digging and planting. From Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park to Christian Pugliese, famed chefs around the world pulled up their sleeves and began their urban gardening efforts. The chefs who are part of the movement have to set up 12-by-15 foot gardens to sustain themselves and possibly their restaurant. Barber’s mission encourages his younger cooks off the couch and into the dirt, in the hopes that with this he can relay his farm-to-table legacy to the next generation of food fighters.
Battery Park’s Urban Farm —Downtown NYC
With the green light from The Battery Conservancy, Barber’s guerrilla gardening will soon be in full view at Battery Park in downtown NYC.