Fisheye Farms provides high quality, organic, locally grown, fresh, whole foods to the community, including retail sale of produce on site and at farm stands, and wholesale of produce to restaurants and other vendors. Fisheye Farms also promotes community awareness of urban farming and the vitality of locally grown, whole foods. Community outreach activities include education, through volunteer and internship opportunities in farming to the community, serving as a bridge between suburban and urban members of the community, and promoting awareness of global farming issues and opportunities.
Fisheye Farms also provides inspirational community space and a venue for a multitude of events, including community meetings, public events (including offering a venue for pop-up restaurateurs, and interactive cooking and craft cocktail events), private events and celebrations (including wedding parties, fund raisers and corporate events), as well as art gallery space and a concert venue. Fisheye Farms was born out of the idea that a for-profit urban farm can be profitable and productive, and can provide a place for people to come together, build community, and get excited.
Fisheye Farmers are Andy Chae and Amy Eckert. Andy answered some questions for us.
What’s the name of your business? Is there a story behind that?
Having worked on urban agriculture projects for a number of years, the farmer at Fisheye Farms began to notice a trend. Creative “outside the box” people who have a broad worldview and life perspective tend to gravitate to urban agriculture. Because the fisheye lens, a favorite of urban street and skateboard photography, takes in a wide-angled view of the world, it is full of symbolism that lends itself well to urban agriculture. The fisheye lens is circular, it gives a broad perspective and takes small things and makes them bigger. This is the approach that Fisheye Farms takes to everything. The name Fisheye Farms encompasses the core values of inclusion, broad-mindedness, and an expansive approach to urban farming and community building. Fisheye Farms is about more than growing good food, it is about growing community and ideas.
What exactly do you grow/make? Why?
This season we grew with ‘farm-to-table’ restaurants in mind. This means we geared the crop plan towards more staple crops like kale and tomatoes, away from doing more variety or radically unique seeds. We would love to grow more variety and experiment with more heirloom varieties after a few more years experience in the market and with more growing space.
What’s the funniest moment you’ve had as a small business owner?
There are a lot of funny moments with people at markets, vendors and customers. Work with family and my partner Amy also yield some funny moments. Then there are those times when you really mess something up and all you can do is laugh about it later.
Where do you grow/make your wonderful product?
We/I are currently growing on a ~3000sq/ft lot in West Village.
Which of your products are you proudest of? Why?
I really love my leeks. The planting went really well and the seedlings took off early. They are almost sold out and are at a great size right now. They taste great and I’v been told I make them in cute bunches.
Why did you want to be a part of the Corktown Farmers’ Market?
I heard from my cousin, though Ben at DIB, that the market was doing really well and the venue for the market was really nice. Now that I’m there, I love it because we have great customers and a tight vendor relationships, its just a welcoming place.
What’s the best review you’ve ever received from a customer?
“Your leeks look so cute!”
What will you have to sell this week?
I will bring a good amount of beets with greens and kale. I will also try a new herb this week and bring shiso.