2022 Local Hero Awardee: Queens Greens

Each year (minus a pandemic year or two), CISA presents Local Hero Awards to farms, businesses, or individuals who exemplify our mission of strengthening farms and engaging the community to build the local food economy. We applaud their hard work, social responsibility, and many contributions to sustaining local agriculture.

Queen’s Greens, located in Amherst and owned by Danya Teitelbaum and Matt Biskup, is a first generation farm that grows greens that they sell wholesale during the winter months. This sounds pretty straightforward, but this model is the result of years of experimentation, tinkering with different models, and an uncountable number of thoughtful decisions about what sort of farm they wanted to run and what sort of lives they want to have.

Queen’s Greens started out growing winter greens for sale at winter farmers’ markets. They spent the better part of a decade growing mixed vegetables and herbs all year round, mixing in direct sales and wholesale customers, before refocusing on winter greens and making the switch fully to wholesale. All of these changes, and all of this experimentation, has been about focusing in on what will be financially viable for their business and what will feel sustainable for their family, and also about taking a realistic look at their resources—their land, and existing infrastructure like greenhouses—and making realistic and honest choices within that framework.

So Queen’s Greens produces beautiful winter greens, in soil, without additional heat or light, and many of us have savored them during the winter months. But they are also a model of careful discernment, and the choices that farmers have to make to survive, and for that CISA is honored to present them with a 2022 Local Hero Award.

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