Prior to starting Irvington’s Langdon Farms (914-450-2492; facebook.com/langdonfarm) in the spring of 2012, Joanie Dinowitz had tried it all: trading bonds on Wall Street, cooking for “a minute and a half” for Eli Zabar at Vinegar Factory in Brooklyn, and selling Oriental rugs wholesale. But it wasn’t until the current energy auditor and self-proclaimed “compost zealot” attended a permaculture workshop that she considered dabbling in the micro-farm industry.
Dinowitz teamed up with Irvington guitarist Mark Mazur to convert her backyard into a 3,500-square-foot suburban farm (named for her street in Irvington), producing organic heirloom tomatoes, beans, greens, and more.
“The idea was just to see if it could work, if we could produce in quantity and good quality,” says Dinowitz. Despite the County’s clay-rich soil, abundance of shade, and armies of deer and gophers, spring 2012 was a bumper season for Langdon Farms’ calling card, heirloom tomatoes, which she and Mazur toted to their favorite eateries, like Tomatillo in Dobbs Ferry and Sweet Grass Grill in Tarrytown. Ultimately, the farm’s 100 tomato plants couldn’t meet the demand from the chefs, who also went nuts for her Chinese long beans (a sold-out special at The Cookery) and squash blossoms (a favorite at Tarry Tavern). “It was all basically a big experiment to see how delicious a tomato a person could grow if they had nothing else going on,” she says. “And, it turns out, pretty darn delicious.” County diners can expect more of the same this year from Langdon Farms. Check your local specials board.
â–º For more dining content, click here.