Last year Brent worked with Sotheby’s and a dedicated team of chairpersons to create the first-ever auction of heirloom vegetables on the floor of an elite auction house.  The event raised half-a-million dollars to support local farms and educational programs.

This year a portion of the proceeds for GrowNYC will be directed to help farms recover from the Hurricane Irene flooding.

On Tuesday, September 27, 2011, Sotheby’s Auction House will host the second annual Art of Farming event to celebrate edible heirlooms and the art involved in their creation. Just in time for the harvest season, this special evening provides a unique platform for local farmers, purveyors, celebrity chefs, food industry experts and philanthropists to join together for a shared interest in supporting local agriculture and sustainable food practices for all New Yorkers. The highlight of the night will be a live auction of incredible food and drink experiences led by a Sotheby’s auctioneer. All proceeds from the event will benefit GrowNYC New Farmers Development Project a program that identifies and educates immigrants with agricultural experience to become local producers and establish farms in the region and The Sylvia Center at Katchkie Farm, a program that inspires and teaches children to eat well through hands-on experiences.

“We are thrilled to host The Art of Farming at Sotheby’s again this year,” says Amy Todd Middleton, SVP Director of Worldwide Marketing for Sotheby’s.  “Sustainable farming and preservation of heirloom varietals is a true art form.  We are proud to support our local farmers by integrating the food and art communities with this exciting auction and dinner.”

The Art of Farming evening will begin with a cocktail reception with local hors d’oeuvres by renowned restaurant Rouge Tomate. Cocktails will be followed by a seated dinner with guests at long family style farm tables. Dinner will be served buffet style with a groaning board incorporating dishes reflecting the bounty of the season. Featured dishes will be created by a line-up of prominent NYC and tri-state area chefs and restaurants, known for their pride in farm-to-table cuisine including Dan Kluger of ABC Kitchen, Alexandra Guarnaschelli of Butter, Ralph Kuettel of Trestle on Tenth, Jeremy Bearman of Rouge Tomate, Todd English of Plaza Food Hall, Cesare Casella of Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto, Ryan Jaronik of Benchmark, Mark Meyer of Cookshop, Daniel Eardley of Chestnut, Sisha Ortuzar of Riverpark, Gabriel Stulman of Joseph Leonard, Bill Telepan of Telepan, Johanna Kolodny of Print Lounge, Ryan Angulo of Buttermilk Channel, Orwasher’s, Jimmy’s 43, Co., Clinton Street Baking Company, Magnolia Bakery, Northern Spy Food Co., Murray’s Cheese, Great Performances, Watty and Meg, and more.

The evening’s live auction will feature incredible food and drink experiences such as summer farm internships for students, field trips for school classes, celebrity chef dinners, farm-to-table dinners, wine country getaways, and unique farm photography and artwork.

The Beekman 1802 live auction will feature a signed copy of the Heirloom Recipe Cookbook, a piece of original artwork from the cookbook photographer Paulette Tavormina, one night’s accommodation at the famous American Hotel, lunch for two with us on the porch of the Beekman Farm in Sharon Springs, NY, and YOUR family’s own heirloom recipe featured on the homepage of

Also on the block will be ten crates of delicious heirloom vegetables that will be auctioned for $1,000 each.  All the produce from this lot will be donated to community food programs in the city.

The heirloom vegetables grown especially for the dinner and auction will be sourced from more than 25 local farmers from the tri-state area, including Bill Maxwell of Maxwell’s Farm, Michael Robertson of Grady’s Farm, Ben Flanner of The Grange, Jeff Bialas of B & A Farms, Ray Bradley of Bradley Farm, Brian Gajeski of Gajeski Produce, Sergio Nolasco of Nolasco’s Farm, David Rowley of Monkshood Nursery, John Schmid of Muddy River Farm, Sue Dare Cherry Lane Farm, Nevia No of Bodhitree Farm, Franca Tantillo of Berried Treasures, Kennon Kay of Queens County Farm Museum, Kevin Smith of Sycamore Farm, John Adams of Hudson Valley Organic, Tim Stark of Eckerton Hill Farm, Keith Steward of Keith’s Organic Farm, Betsy Ryder of Ryder Farm Cottage, John Gorzynski of Gorzynski Ornery Farms, Vinny D’Attalico of D’Attalico Organics, and Ben Shaw of Garden of Spices. All seeds for the produce used and on sale have been donated to the farmers by the Hudson Valley Seed Library.

“The Art of Farming auction and dinner at Sotheby’s represents a new level of commitment to sustainable agriculture and good earth practices while supporting and celebrating local flavors,” says Liz Neumark, Founder and CEO of Great Performances. “The Art of Farming is a true celebration of the farmers, chefs, and food makers who feed us, and we are thrilled to have Sotheby’s as an ally in supporting food diversity from the farm fields to our kitchens.”

Leading up to the event, there will be a weekly community greenmarket operated by Grow NYC Youthmarket outside Sotheby’s New York every Tuesday, beginning September 6th through September 27th. Youthmarket is a network of urban farm stands managed by neighborhood youth, supplied by local farmers, and designed to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to communities throughout New York City. Youthmarket seeks to overcome the problem of inaccessibility of affordable fresh fruits and vegetables by linking regional farmers with underserved consumers in New York City.

For more information on The Art of Farming or to purchase tickets, visit


by Josh and Brent

Reader Comments

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Josh and Brent,

Congrats again for organizing the Art of Farming 2011 together with Sotheby's.

I know it will be another Record Breaker this year!

My best wishes!


susan tolbert

Brent, Last years event was so successful that there is no doubt this year will be even more so. I am chairing the Humane Society Ties and Tails dinner and auction this year. I know the time and effort that goes into events but nothing compared to what your team is doing. Wishing another wonderful evening. sue t.

Linda Schnell-Leonar

I happen to be off that week, and boy I wish I could attend. All the best on your continued success in what is just your true personality. Wanting good for yourselves, WHILE, doing good for others.

My dear, look at just how well you are doing indeed.

I am glad that I have had the pleasure of reading about this.