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Who Cooks for You? Newbie Couple Answer that Question for Many in Pittsburgh Area
NEW BETHLEHEM, Pa. (EYT) – Chris and Aeros Brittenburg founded Who Cooks for You Farm in 2009 in the New Bethlehem area and have been helping people answer the question about who cooks for them ever since.
(PHOTO: Chris and Aeros Brittenburg founded Who Cooks for You Farm in 2009. They are pictured here with their sons, Cedar and Cyan.)
Although Who Cooks for You Farm was founded in 2009, it was in the making for many years prior to that due to the farming experience of both Chris and Aeros.
The Brittenburgs gained valuable farming experience in their twenties while traveling across the United States and internationally. When they both met at a conference in 2008 they teamed up (in addition to falling in love) and have been working together ever since to produce and distribute the freshest produce markets have to offer. Playing on each other’s strengths, it’s a relationship that has taken their produce from the small town of New Bethlehem to some of the finer restaurants in the Pittsburgh area.
Aeros identifies herself as the “office queen” that works as the liaison between the farm and the many elements outside of the farm as well. Chris, on the other hand, can most likely be found in the fields managing the farm systems. From planting to harvesting, Chris oversees the farm’s operations.
While many initially think of meat or dairy when discussing farming, Who Cooks for You Farm specializes in fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables that Aeros explains are quite delicious.
“We grow everything that we sell, and like to grow a lot of specialty crops that are super tasty. For example, some of our best sellers are mesclun salad mix, shishito, and carmen peppers, as well as artisan and heirloom tomatoes in a rainbow of colors and flavors.”
In addition to their best sellers, Who Cooks for You Farm also grows dozens of popular fruits and vegetables that everyone can enjoy. Watermelon, sweet corn, beets, spinach, and sugar snap peas are just a few of those favorites.
Who Cooks for You Farm can be found selling their fresh produce in the Pittsburgh area on a weekly basis.
“We sell our produce via three farmers markets in Pittsburgh. East Liberty on Mondays, Bloomfield on Saturdays, and Squirrel Hill on Sundays. On Mondays and Thursdays, we sell our produce to some of Pittsburgh’s best Restaurants, as well as the East End Food Coop and New Bethlehem’s own Zack’s.”
While many in the exploreClarion.com coverage area recognize the name Zack’s, there are a plethora of fine dining establishments in Pittsburgh that purchase directly from Who Cooks for You Farm. The most notable of those restaurants may be Superior Motors in Braddock which was recently named one of the ten best new restaurants in America by Food & Wine magazine. In addition to Superior Motors, Who Cooks for You also boasts a list of clients that includes Legume Bistro, Eleven, Apteka, Bitter Ends, Luncheonette, Morcilla, Cure, Casbah, The Whitfield at Ace Hotel, The Vandal, Kaya, Eliza, Bar Marco, Driftwood, Union Standard, and Lorelei.
Although the couple enjoys what they do for a living, they do not deny how much work goes into being a farmer.
“I don’t necessarily want to argue that anyone should farm because it’s physical work,” explained Aeros. “Physical work is not desirable, in general, particularly when the work is relatively undervalued in society. There’s not a lot of money coming out of farming. That’s not to say that is isn’t profitable because it certainly is. It has to be more than what ‘we love to do.’ It has to be sustainable. We need to make a comfortable living. We want to build something that our kids can roll right into and make a good living off of right away.”
The Brittenbergs are open and honest about some of the downsides of farming, but Aeros also explains that the perks of farming for her family certainly make it worth the physical work.
“The obvious perks to farming for us are that you’re outside working in nature, rain or shine, cold or hot. It breathes air into your body and mind simply with all the varying conditions. Working with the seasons means you’re often changing what you do every few weeks. For us, this is such a nice perk.”
“I don’t romanticize farming,” Aeros concluded. “The business aspects of it have beat up the passion that originally drove us to farm. I’m not saying we’re not passionate anymore, it’s just more maturity at this point. Things can be hard, but we are absolutely elated when there is a great harvest of onions or winter squash or tomatoes.”
You can learn more about the company at WhoCooksForYouFarm.com.
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