May. 21 2018
Annie Novak has a job you might not expect from someone living in the NYC area–she’s an organic farmer. With a passion for urban agriculture, Annie is the manager of the Edible Academy at the New York Botanical Garden, the co-founder of the Eagle Street Rooftop Farm in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, as well as the Director of the nonprofit Growing Chefs. Talk about a lot of important roles. She’s also the author of The Rooftop Growing Guide: How to Transform Your Roof into A Garden or Farm (Ten Speed Press). When she’s not educating others about the importance of urban agriculture, Annie is running marathons, or birdwatching. Interested in how this fascinating farmer starts her morning? Read below.
Time you wake up: I’m a lifelong early bird. I wake up whenever sunlight comes through my bedroom window, typically around 5:45 or 6 A.M.
6:15 A.M. Starting my morning by going for a run puts me in a good mood for the rest of the day. If I’m home in Brooklyn, I have a few neighborhood loops that I love to do while listening to my favorite podcasts. If I’m traveling, a run is my favorite way to see the architecture and natural spaces of a new place. I’ll lose the earbuds and pay attention so I can learn the new landscape. I’m an avid birdwatcher, so during migration, in the spring and fall a run sometimes slows down and becomes birding. I just have to make sure I’m home on time to leave for work!
7 A.M. Shower time! I have a couple of favorite soaps: Sawkill Farm, Evolutionary Organics, and Dr. Bronners. They’re all very gentle on my skin and the environment. I use Melu shampoo and Crystal salt deodorant. I was skeptical about switching to a salt deodorant, but now that my body is used to it, I’ve never gone back. They work wonderfully, even for a person like me who *glows* from working outside all day.
7:30 A.M. By this time of the morning I am fully dressed and out the door: off to water plants, harvest vegetables, check in on a class, or whatever is on the agenda for the day. I work in different places on different days of the week but 90% of the time I’m in a garden. My footwear and clothes have to take me from working outdoors into meetings seamlessly, so (like any good New Yorker) often I wear all black. I love Bogs Footwear’s Chelsea boot because you can wear it in mud, snow, or out to a restaurant. My go-to pants are Madewell’s High-Rise Skinny Jeans in Berkeley Black.
8 A.M. I ride my bike to work. My ride takes me through four of New York City’s five boroughs. If I’m reading a good book, I’ll ride the train so I can squeeze a few chapters in before the work day starts.
9 A.M. An Earl Grey Harney and Sons tea in hand, I’m ready to go into the garden. Full disclosure: near the end of the week, I switch to Birds & Beans Coffee. I stick to water most of the day but by Friday I need the caffeine!