Five questions with “Red House” and the Van Brunt Cannabis Company
Warren Bobrow: I’ve been a member of the CSA for a couple of months now. Please let me share with you some of what I learned from the experience so far.
- There is a real sense of direction in the CSA. I love the approach- similar to a vegetable CSA, it reminds me of Sonoma Hills Farm out West with their terroir driven-cannabis/vegetable CSA
- Quality is off the charts. It’s pretty evident that the flowers are perfectly cured which in my limited experience means everything. An art form lost by mega grows and their hands-off, high-volume philosophies.
- Craft truly means Craft! I’m looking at something gorgeous from the CSA in front of me right now, it’s Crème de la Chem x Sour Stomper x Crème de la Chem… This is the cannabis that unlocked my mind after the two-week sojourn of not writing. THANK YOU!
- This is the model for micro-grows city-wide. I cannot wait for a cannabis tasting of what is going on, right now in New York. Interesting. I’m not here to compare apples and oranges. I’m well known to write about outdoor grown because that’s my passion. Finding micro-grows, both indoors and outdoors grown that treat their plants with love and compassion is clearly my path in life. Being able to share this experience with others? Priceless.
The Crème de la Chem is all about pine, gas, and snipped garlic chives. I want to decarb some of this luxurious cannabis in my Ardent and whip the toasty, activated craft cannabis into my favorite cream cheese mashed potatoes- 3 cups boiled Yukon Golds, a cup of high-fat butter, ½ cup of cream cheese, and those beforementioned chives. Of course, freshly ground pepper and salt to taste. Whip in the decarbed cannabis at the end and eat up. Pro-tip: always use a fork when making mashed potatoes. And get down that nice ceramic bowl from your grandmom’s house to make your mashed potatoes. Take your time, there’s no rush. Wash this down with a Belgian Kriek Ale or a glass of iced buttermilk. Deliciousness.
Warren Bobrow: Please tell me about yourself. Where are you from? How did you discover NYC?
Red House: I moved to Brooklyn from Richmond, Va. in Dec ’08. NYC had always been on my mind.
My father is from NY, my sis went to med school here too. She was holding the door for me, and I would have come much earlier but I was always happy where I was.
My only regret in coming to NYC was not moving sooner than I did. As I outgrew RVA almost ended up in Asheville, NC, and Philly a couple of times. Working in the restaurant industry, NYC was the obvious choice.
Warren Bobrow: What are you working on right now? What makes you different than your peers?
Red House: Just beginning the CSA, it’s a side project to Van Brunt, and being on a monthly schedule it’s at its own pace. In addition to getting Van Brunt up and running, developing the CSA, I’m involved with some projects more focused on hospitality.
I have strong connections to the restaurant industry and the idea of high-end consumption lounges and canna-friendly restaurants in NYC is exciting. None of this 420 stoner vibe, but something Sam Sifton would write about.
What makes the CSA different though is the socialist model. It’s not even close to how the traditional cannabis market works. Cannabis has been going by capitalistic business values forever and ever. This is operated more like a traditional CSA farm or co-op.
Warren Bobrow: What is your favorite strain right now? Who taught you the craft?
Red House: Impossible to choose. Always loved Durban Poison, anything with some pine I’m always interested in. Citrusy/hazy sativas are a go-to also… I think Cherry Ghostenade from King Greens is a recent favorite.
I taught myself to grow cannabis through lots of reading and lurking on the net. It’s all really easy, knowledge is key. My initial interest in plant life, that credit has to go to Mom. She grew up on a farm in PA, so learning how to grow peas and carrots as a kid and take care of houseplants and all that, yeah that was the foundation. Once you understand plants’ basic nature, cannabis is easy.
Warren Bobrow: Tell me a little more about the CSA? How do you get involved?
Red House: The CSA (community-supported agriculture) model fits best because I don’t intend to ever be in the flower market, not even wholesale. I just enjoy growing and want the excess flower to have a home. Edibles, white label, and private label, are the main focus for Van Brunt. The garden being a cooperative keeps my time more available to work more on that. Some of the members are excited to learn about growing or just want to get involved and hands-on. That’s great, bc I just want to grow. We attend industry events to meet people and talk memberships. Planning meetups and trim parties for members in the future too. So, there’s a community aspect to the plan which is always welcome. No work or time given is required with membership, that’s optional and shares are offered in exchange for time spent “in the garden” … The value is great for people who use flower on the regular and like lots of variety, supporting their local economy and cleanly grown flower. Going to be including edibles or pantry items infused with the trim and kief of the harvests with the shares from time to time as well as including other local producers. January, we have Kings Greens joining us with some Bushwick-grown Huckleberry in addition to Orange Haze and Grapewalker Kush strains from mine. Contact on instagram @ van.brunt.nyc or email: VanBruntCSA@gmail.com for more information.
Warren Bobrow: What is your passion?
Red House: I’m a music lover first and have appreciation for all peoples’ creative talents. I would never do that professionally over concern music may become too much like work. Was very lucky to work in the right spots while I was young. Was drawn to food as a profession and that’s easily 2nd or 3rd to music as my first passion. Worked in a bunch of high-end joints for years and years and I’m into the discipline, detail, and refinement but need a more relaxed space to work. Really dig on classics done right. Not fancy high-end soignée, just done right. Modern takes and trends are fun but dishes that have been popular for hundreds of years are popular for a reason. Doing a dish entirely in its truest traditional sense is one of the things I love most. You know how ppl are sometimes looking for the “most authentic” or “traditional” thing? I’m kinda like that. I want the most basic bitch Al Pastor taco. but when everything about it is just right. Talking fresh tortillas, a real adobo, and all that. That’s something I will gush all over.
***I’m proud to belong to the CSA and taste these marvelous herbs, grown with care and love in New York! WB***
Follow on Instagram: @van.brunt.nyc
Feature Photo Courtesy: Red House