Craig at Awesome Farm, Tivoli
From the series Between Forest and Field
20 x 16 inches
Courtesy of the artist
© Daniel Handal
The development of agriculture (the cultivation of crops) caused a big shift in human culture. Instead of moving around to find the best sources of food, people started staying in one place to tend their own gardens. Many people still grow their own food, whether for health, pleasure, or necessity. In contrast with the popular vision of the average American farmer as a wizened figure in overalls and a cap, Daniel Handal’s subjects challenge the stereotype with their youth, urban upbringing, and idealism. These farmers, Handal says, “are looking for ways to build a saner, healthier life for themselves and their families while providing healthy, locally grown food for their communities.” Places such as Sister’s Hill Farm in Stanfordville; Phillies Bridge Farm in New Paltz; Common Ground in Wappingers Falls; and Awesome Farm in Tivoli sell fresh produce, meat, or eggs to their communities and even maintain websites. While many family farms across the country are being sold to developers, these young people are starting and maintaining sites for community based agriculture. Central to their success is a ready source of customers who are willing to pay a premium to support their work.