Smiling Hogshead Ranch is a charming community farm hidden in industrial Long Island City, Queens; it’s a quiet escape for those needing to take a break from the city, and offers a refreshing change from the noise that can bombard a person every day. Here, we take a look inside the space with our own Rene Lozzi, Splendid Spoon employee and a member of the Smiling Hogshead Ranch!

Q: How did you find out about Smiling Hogshead Ranch?

A: My friend Jennie, a member at Smiling Hogshead Ranch, invited me to check it out last summer on a Terrific Tuesday. Terrific Tuesdays are a night when members of the farm invite the community to the ranch to work and then we have a potluck after. Everyone brings delicious dishes and we always incorporate food from the ranch in our meal.

Q: What drew you to it?

A: From the moment I entered the space I felt at home. Smiling Hogshead Ranch is aesthetically beautiful, inclusive and peaceful- the perfect reprieve for my often stressful New York City life.

Q: What’s it like to be part of a small farming community in a big city like New York?

A: It is incredibly rewarding to be apart of SHR. I love growing food with like minded folks. Being a member allows me to connect with my food. In our modern food system it is easy to feel disconnected from our food sources, I am incredibly grateful to know where much of my produce comes from.

Q: What are some plants/crops that you’re currently growing?

A: Right now the tomatoes are almost ripe, malabar spinach, gherkin cucumbers, watermelon, blackberries, so many offerings

Q: Any favorites?

A: The grapes, they are superb. Store grapes will never taste the same.

Q: What’s your favorite part of being a part of Smiling Hogshead Ranch?

A: I like how diverse the community is at the farm. Everytime I go to to the ranch I learn something new about another member- where they came from, what their favorite foods are, why they are interested in farming and food. This is the stuff that motivates me. I am grateful to find a place that cultivates my passion for food and love for people.

Below, some of the things grown at Smiling Hogshead Ranch:

Heirloom gourd

Chili peppers