Yesterday was a gorgeous fall day, so I was easily pulled away from my computer to go visit with Lisa Weinstein from North Salem as she shopped for fresh, organic greens at Garden of Ideas in Ridgefield. What a treat! We found fresh bok choi, black radishes, arugula, spicy salad mix with edible flowers, ruby and white baby turnips, purple peppers, cilantro and gorgeous tomatoes! Her son Kai found some yogurt in the refrigerator from another area farm. The prices were definitely reasonable.
I was so pleased to find such succulent greens available now, even after the Ridgefield Farmer’s market had closed for the season. Joe Keller, the Garden’s founder, says they should have good greens until Thanksgiving, and some beets too. This place is great – they grow organically and will be applying for their certified organic status soon. Ilse Svendsen, one of the owners, explained that if you are growing organically and sell less than $5,000 in a year, then you can say ‘organic’ on your labels and signs. Their business has now increased enough that they can apply for ‘certified organic’ status.
I hadn’t been to Garden of Ideas for the past 6 years and thought that it was a lovely place then. My first summer in this area my daughter and I strolled through their gorgeous sculpture garden, wild rice field and woodland paths. But now there is so much more to see! They have two greenhouses and lots of vegetable beds. And now they have an art gallery right in the garden!
I think it is fantastic that there is an organic farm contributing to the sustainability of Ridgefield. The potential is awesome. If there were a few more farms like this Ridgefield could become a self-reliant town for its vegetable and fruit needs, thereby greatly reducing their carbon footprint as a town. And if there were a way to get to Garden of Ideas by foot and bike, that would be even better. What if the town of Ridgefield talked to the town of Katonah and the Bedford Riding Lanes Association and created a model of trail systems from downtown to the highschool? What if the town made Ridgefield a walkable town? How great would it be to be able to walk from Town Hall to Ironwood Gallery, Southwest Cafe and then across the street to Cellar Xv (good organic wines there)?