Farming has never been an occupation for anyone that shirks hard work or afraid to take a risk. It’s heartening to see someone that has not only taken up the challenge of making a living off the fertile land in the valley of the Esopus Creek, but is doing it with a commitment to being a resource for the local community. This week’s Doer and Dreamer is not only sowing seeds to supply food to local consumers, but also to educate others while creating a space to enable the community to interact with each other.
Your name: Creek Iversen
Business or organization: Seed Song Farm & Center , 160 Esopus Avenue, Kingston, NY
Occupation: Farmer / Director / Educator
What is your approach to your business or occupation that makes you unique?
The team at Seed Song Farm & Center works incredibly hard to make the chemical-free produce grown on our farm, as well as healthy and engaging farm experiences we offer to the public (such as youth summer camp, you-pick experiences, adult workshops, and cultural events) available to ALL in our community. For example our second annual Halloween Fest in partnership with MyKingstonKids is free to the public– it served over 1000 people last year, many of limited financial means, and featured free you-pick pumpkins. Our approach is that we all need to take care of each other, including businesses.
We are a mission-centered farm business with a very unusual “low-profit” L3C incorporation, partnered with a not-for-profit educational center, with the shared goal of bringing people together around good food, and building a community to re-kindle a cultural reverence for the land and celebrate and share its bounty.
Where are you from originally?
I grew up “just across the mountains” near Otsego Lake
What brought you to the Kingston area and keeps you in this area?
The beauty of the people and the mountains and river in autumn… I came to “the river that flows both ways” half my life ago as a young adult to volunteer on Pete Seeger’s Clearwater project during a month long series of Pumpkin festivals filled with music and sailing, which was a formative experience. All of the varied work I have done since has centered around the dance between people and the land, which is unique and very special here. There is such an active, caring, and generous human community, here in this beautiful place where the Catskills meet the mid-Hudson Valley.
What is your favorite hangout in this area and why?
Kingston Point beach and nearby trails, from the strand to the Greenline to Hasbrouck Park, are my nearby natural getaways. Also the Esopus Creek is a great paddle– wilderness hidden in the sprawl. Graziano’s Downtown Cafe is always a special experience, as are Peace Nation and PAKT in midtown- all walking distance from my home in Ponckhockie. The Coffee Beanery is close to the farm and has Wifi, homemade soups and treats and good-hearted people. When I lived closer to uptown, a lot of the planning meetings for Seed Song happened at Sissy’s and Outdated.
When not in Kingston, what’s your idea of a wonderful city to visit, and why?
New Orleans for distinct American culture, especially the street music, and Bergen, Norway for beautiful harmony of civilization in nature. And its always about the food!
Tell us something that we never would have guessed about you.
I was a yogi in a Buddhist Monastery