Editorial Talents — Her, Top Make-Up Artists; Him, Respected Photographer and Content Creator — Create Indoor Greenery to Grow Salad Mixes, Purple Radish, Speckled Peas, Broccoli and Many Other Produce Items
In the height of the coronavirus, when business around the Northeast stopped cold, two creative talents based in New York decided to pivot in a new, surprising direction: starting an indoor micro-greenery from a home in Brooklyn. The founders, Claudia Lake and Benjamin Kabin, realized there was a great demand for NY-based greeneries that grow natural produce, and seized the opportunity. They launched Newtown Creek Farms and are already selling foods like purple radish, speckled pea, broccoli, kohlrabi, chives, cress, cilantro and salad mixes to restaurants, stores and direct-to-consumer throughout the five boroughs.
“We use organic and sustainable practices to grow micro-greens for fine dining restaurants in New York City,” says Lake, a top make-up artist working in editorial and marketing. Lake, trained by industry legend Pat McGrath, has worked with the biggest brands and talents in fashion, beauty, lifestyle and many other industries.
Newtown Creek Farms’ micro-greens are grown indoors using organic and sustainable methods. This allows the duo to tailor every aspect of the growing process to eat individual crop. Light, water, temperature and air flow are monitored and fine-tuned in order to grow a consistently outstanding product.
Lake and Kabin’s counter-intuitive decision to base their business in Brooklyn gives their brand a creative, edgy kick.
“Brooklyn is vast and has a ton of food production and manufacturers,” says Kabin, a photographer and content creator who has worked for many creative platforms. “But most greeneries are on rooftops and gardens. We are indoors making us a year-round farm. That in itself is unique.”
“Most growers who provide fresh food for New York aren’t in town,” Lake added. “We are hyper local and need to travel less than five miles to deliver to most of our customers.
Some micro-greens reach maturity in as little as 8-10 days, meaning Lake and Kabin are constantly harvesting and planting. They plant the seeds on trays and ensure that they have the proper amount of moisture to begin the process of breaking out and turning into seedlings. Once they’re strong enough, the two move the trays into the light and continue to water and monitor the micro-greens until they’re ready to harvest.
“Our love for their city, its food and the arts gives us a colorful and tasty mix of plants,” says Lake. “Ben and mine’s combined understanding of food and artistic aesthetics helps them understand what chefs actually want and need.”