Food The Tastemakers:

Bhumi Farms: Growing Together

Photography by Sarah Elliott

Farmer Frank of Bhumi Farms was a neighbor of one of my dearest friends, Amy Risley, who designed the EyeSwoon site. She introduced us and I subscribed to his CSA program in its inaugural year. Frank’s story is an interesting one, and it goes like this — Frank was in finance, needed a change, and wanted to make a difference. So, after years of the faced-paced, frenetic N.Y.C. finance hustle, he traded in his trading desk for life as a farmer. Bhumi was born.

Located in East Hampton, Bhumi Farm has a bright yellow and white color palette that casts summer’s golden glory onto its fresh-from-the-earth veggies. It’s happy-hued, striking, and Instagrammably-beautiful. The locale is also one of the only exclusively-organic farms on the East End of Long Island. In speaking of his current way of life, Frank describes farming as an infinite source of lessons in perspective, patience, peace, humbleness, and disappointment. With two years of learning and evolution under his belt, Frank has made the decision to take his farm in an inspiring new direction this season.

“I decided to take Bhumi Farms into the nonprofit [realm] because good organic produce was growing increasingly out of reach for a large portion of our population. It saddened me to see the food quality handed out at food banks.” Frank’s core belief was that people would opt to help a neighbor, friend, or stranger, if given the opportunity to do so. “Bhumi Farms Seva is a conduit for good people of means to help good people who currently don’t have the means.” As Frank’s initiative reminds us, at a time of when many of us yearn to be reminded — we can uplift one another. Read on to learn more.

Bhumi Farms


Farmer Frank

What is day-to-day life like on a farm? Give us a glimpse…
There is no normal day on the farm. One of the earlier lessons I learned as a farmer is to make a daily agenda, but not be attached to it. Farming isn’t on my schedule or pace. We may want things at certain times, but it is like swimming upstream constantly. For me, a large dose of peace came when I let nature dictate terms and I did the best I could within them. So my day to day generally starts with what is needed most and is reasonably realistic to accomplish.

Why did you decide to turn Bhumi into a nonprofit farm?
I decided to take Bhumi Farms into the non-profit [realm] because good organic produce was growing increasingly out of reach for a large portion of our population. It saddened me to see the food quality handed out at food banks. While I understand the need for nonperishable items at soup kitchens and the like, I just felt like we can all do something, as a community, to help nourish this very large group of people who can use our help. Overarching all of that is my core belief that people are inherently good, and would help a neighbor, friend, or stranger for that matter, if given the opportunity to do so. Bhumi Farms Seva is a conduit for good people of means to help good people who currently don’t have the means.  

You donate much of the food you produce. What is the breakdown of where it goes?
The first few deliveries have gone to New York Common Pantry. As we get more produce off of our field we will layer in POTS Bronx.

Your farm stand is now donation-based, and your farm share (CSA) is just for donors. Tell us about that.
The stand has suggested prices, so people can give more or less than that price. People are mostly supportive and round up. Some people can’t afford the suggestion, so they pay less. The farm share has been converted to a donor gift, yes. The best-case scenario is that we get to donate everything we grow, but that just isn’t the case yet. We have to give away some produce as gifts to generate donations to fund the farm to donate the balance of the produce to the food pantries. We are very appreciative of our farm families and are so grateful that they’ve joined us on this journey to help other.

What is the mission of Bhumi Farms?
The mission is to broaden the availability of great, highly nourishing produce. We don’t think that food should be something reserved for the rich, and we believe most people would agree with us. This is why we decided to transition to a 100% donation-based farm.

Okay, the design of your swoony farm stand — it is without doubt picture-perfect. Were the shadows a happy accident or was that intentional? And how did you decide on yellow and white as the colors?  
The stand colors and dip design are all the brainchild of my brother Peter Trentacoste. The shadows were observed and then enhanced. Every modification and change we’ve made has been a continuation of the slat roof theme. Even our new farm wagon has the same roof as the stand. The shadows and the color dip are the thread that weave it all together.  

What is the value of eating seasonally, locally, and organically?
Oh man, I would say the value is the same as being true to yourself. Eat in season for your region. Our bodies are linked to this. We spend so much on wellness and yoga and so forth for connection, and yet we choose to eat food grown 1000s of miles away and completely out of season. It’s amazingly incompatible to me and thoroughly confuses me daily. If you sit 20 minutes a day to meditate, or if you spend any time at all trying to find your center or safe place or whatever you may all it, why would you not extend that goal to the the earth around you and all of its abundance?

Every day must be a learning experience on this farming journey of yours. What has been the impact of farming on your life?  
The farm is an infinite source of lessons, subtle and extreme. Perspective, patience, humbleness, ego, peace, non-attachment, selfless service, disappointment, one pointedness, and on and on. If one is open to it, and has the ability to observe, the farm is an amazing teacher. My life has been completely altered by farming, some ways have been beautiful, others have been painful, but in all ways, for the better.

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