By Maya Rader
It may seem crazy that a chef at a Japanese restaurant in New York City became a farmer in upstate New York. However, this is exactly what happened to Joseph Koovalloor, who is now a farmer’s apprentice at Liberty Farms.
When Koovalloor was working as a chef, he became interested in how the food he worked with traveled from farm to table. He said that he “wasn’t really too sold on the idea” of the long and unknown path his ingredients took before they reached him. He moved to Japan to visit friends he made at the Japanese restaurant, and began volunteering at a Japanese farm. After he experienced farming, he was sold.
He then found his way to Liberty Farms, located in Ghent, NY, two and a half hours north of Manhattan, and became a farmer’s apprentice there last February.
Liberty Farms sells chicken and a wide variety of vegetables on Sundays at the Stuyvesant Town Greenmarket. The farm began selling at the greenmarket at the end of last season and continues to sell at the market this year.