Pop-Up:

Sundays – Tuesdays, 12:00-2:30pm, until February 4th, 2020

32 Avenue B, Manhattan, 10009

(Inside Ben’s Deli Grocery)

Sunday, January 19th: “The Chef is Present”

Email: ethanrblake@gmail.com      Phone: 862-703-0014

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tl;dr:

Farmwich is a new fast casual restaurant that serves one different sandwich every day made entirely with ingredients from regenerative agriculture farms in the New York Greenmarket’s designated local region. All sandwiches are $9 (which includes tax and tip) and we offer a pay-it-forward free sandwich option.

Everything Under the Crust:

Food

All our food is “vegan, organic, local, and fair trade” but we don’t call it that. Rather than focus on the imitation or absence of animal products, we celebrate the rich flavors of seasonal vegetables grown in polyculture soils. The season writes our menu anew each day. It is possible that we never serve the same sandwich twice.

We source almost all our produce from Lani’s Farm (Bordentown, NJ), extra-virgin sunflower oil from Hudson Valley Cold-Pressed Oils (Poughkeepsie, NY), sourdough bread from Hawthorne Valley Farm & Bakery (which grows and mills almost all its own grain on-site; Ghent, NY), heirloom beans from GrowNYC (mostly Caledonia, NY), pumpkin seeds from Stony Brook Wholehearted Foods (Geneva, NY), and fruits from Wilkow Orchards (Highland, NY). We make all larder from scratch and use any leftovers for fermentation experiments (and our logo was graciously designed by Brooklyn artist Hermann Mejia). In the future, we intend to grow mushrooms and herbs on-site with help from smallhold and bloom.

With the exception of a few dry spices from the East Village’s Dual Specialties, we buy all ingredients directly from our farmers without a middleman or distributor.

Chef Dan Barber has written that America has no true cuisine because its abundance never forced a creative negotiation with the landscape: “The real advantage of American cuisine for the future – because I think we will land on a cuisine – [is] it’s going to be hyper regional.” We at Farmwich believe that the most ecologically and socially sustainable cuisine is inherently the most delicious – scarcity is our greatest creative asset.

Here’s a sample menu from a recent preview dinner:

#1: Sunchokes crisped in sunflower flour, mache greens, gremolata, pickled root vegetables (carrot, parsnip, rutabaga, beet)

#2: Honeynut squash, squash seed and Lani’s miso puree, pickled cabbage, mixed baby greens (mustards, kales, sorrel, tatsoi, arugula)

#3: Japanese sweet potato mash, caramelized shallot jam, sautéed broccoli rabe, Tokyo bekana, radish, cumin-coriander vinaigrette

Dessert: one-ingredient Bolero carrot mousse with pickled apples and parsnips, maple-candied pumpkin seeds


Sacred Economics

Beyond the triple bottom line of sustainability (social, environmental and financial), Farmwich supports the spiritual health of its chefs and eaters. Environmental neglect is perhaps the most significant human cause of climate change; Farmwich believes that what underlies this pollution is a human disconnection from ecology and the convenient consumption of too many choices rather than the ephemeral enjoyment of everything in its right time and place. This is why Farmwich offers one different sandwich every day made with only seasonal ingredients. Not everybody can live on a farm, grow their own food and watch the seasons slowly change, but everybody eats and can become more conscious of how we choose what we eat.

Behind the counter, Farmwich is experimenting with a labor culture that draws upon historic models of cooperative firms and gift economies. In addition to investing in our chefs’ professional development and physical well-being, we invest in the kitchen’s shared spiritual development through various practices:

  • Paid 30-minutes of group meditation before every shift
  • Shared learning and participation in all kitchen skills without specialization or hierarchy
  • Reserved weekly time for individual’s culinary passion projects
  • $15/week saved from one’s paycheck that is paid back every two years as $1500 for a 5-week Sabbatical break
  • Functional speech (silence while working except for necessary communication) and a community that views labor as, in Masanobu Fukuoka’s words, “The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”
  • As Farmwich grows, we will prioritize hiring formerly incarcerated people and individuals who require special accommodations.