Know Your Local Farmer | Brandon Brones

Square Roots | 08.19.19

Our Next-Gen Farmers operate next-level technology, grow delicious food, and do it all in the middle of cities. We think that’s pretty cool. So every few weeks we spotlight their perspectives on food, farming, and how the industry is changing for the better. Go ahead, get to know your local farmer. →

Square Roots Next-Gen Farmer Brandon Brones

Has farming always been a part of your life, and if not, what led you to this career?

Growing up, farming wasn’t apart of my life but as I got older, I found out that many of my ancestors on both sides of my family made a living by farming. I had the opportunity of visiting Norway, where my dad’s family is from, as well as our family farm that had been in the family since the 17th Century. I’ve never felt more connected to land than in that moment.

That experience, as well as working a decade in restaurants alongside great chefs like Stephanie Izard, inspired me to explore food in a different light, and to appreciate it from seed to plate. So, I began working with the Chicago Botanic Gardens as an apprentice on several soil-based incubator farms. We worked with several small farm businesses exploring sustainable farm practices to bring the best quality food to restaurants and stores.

What is the most unexpected aspect of your day-to-day?

The most unexpected aspect of my day-to-day is the amount of yoga that’s needed to relieve physical stress that farming puts on the body. I find myself constantly stretching and bending to relieve the aches and pains that come with doing manual labor. Oh and drinking water too! I drink a lot of water while working.

In 10 words or less, what are your hopes for a better food system?

For everyone to have access to healthy, nutritious foods, and clean water… not 10 words, I know.

Square Roots Next-Gen Farmer Brandon Brones

Favorite local restaurant?

Meme's Diner in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

Go-to book?

Farming While Black by Leah Penniman

Best thing to do in NYC on the weekend?

I love biking to Jacob Riis Beach and just relaxing.

You can follow along with Brandon Brones on Instagram @empoweringlemonbundt and learn more about our Next-Gen Farmer Training Program on the Square Roots website.

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